Red quinoa is my latest love. It cooks in 15 minutes, is a great partner to just about any ingredient, and takes to simple, whole flavors wonderfully. It has a slightly earthier taste and texture (a bit firmer) than the regular quinoa, and a chocolate brown color to it when it’s cooked. And it’s grilling time here, so it goes great with grilled kebobs.
I grill just about anything fresh right now – fruit, vegetables, meat, and in a myriad of combinations. I just make sure to oil (and season) what is being grilled so it doesn’t get dried out and stick to the grill. You can also oil your grilling surface to prevent sticking.
I chop the ingredients into bite size pieces that can also securely stay on my stainless steel kebob skewers. I inherited my skewers, but they look like these. You can also use bamboo skewers. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for a few minutes so they don’t burn, and then load them up.
Below is a quick recipe I made last night. We just got home from a trip to NYC to see friends and family, so I just picked up a few things to grill. I prepared the kebobs, started the grill and the quinoa, then placed the kebobs on the grill, and in 15 minutes the entire meal was ready to eat (we have a gas grill).
Grilled Kebobs with Red Quinoa
Vegetable and beef kebobs (for 3 to 4 people)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- about 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 pound of beef, cut into thin cubes (almost stir-fry style)
- 1 red onion, sliced into large pieces
- 4 scallions, cut into two or three pieces
- 10 or more cherry tomatoes
- 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half (these sometimes fall off when grilled, but they taste great)
- 1 cup of red quinoa
- 2 cups of chicken stock or water
- 2 tablespoons of butter (or olive oil)
- 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- fresh minced mint leaves (optional)
- Add all the chopped kebob ingredients to a bowl and blend well to completely cover everything with the oil dressing.
- Add the quinoa to a saucepan and heat on a low to medium flame for a few minutes just to toast the quinoa. Then add the water, and heat until it is boiling. Cover and simmer the quinoa for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the grill and place the kebob ingredients on the skewers.
- Grill the skewers, turning every 5 minutes until they are cooked. Usually two to three turns is enough.
- The quinoa is ready when all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is not dry (just slightly moist but no standing water).
- Add the butter, lemon juice, salt, and mint to the quinoa.
- Place the grilled kebob pieces over the quinoa and enjoy!