Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quinoa "Pie"- not just for the diabetic!

I mentioned in my last post that my parents are now into low Glycemic Index (GI) foods. That basically means that my mom's pantry is now devoid of any rice, or wheat, for that matter. Instead, her grocery list consists of foxtail millet (called "navane" in Kannada), wire-cut oats etc. These are the "ancient" grains with carbohydrates that take a longer time to break down, thereby releasing sugar into the blood at a slower rate as compared to "modern" grains such as rice, especially white rice, that spike up blood sugar levels at a rapid rate, and the latter is not a good thing, especially for diabetics. And that, my friends, is a pretty long sentence! So anyway, low GI foods are supposedly healthy foods. And with all this talk about healthy living and healthy eating, grains such as millet, oats, buckwheat and quinoa are being re-discovered by people. Well, if not people, definitely by my parents!

The other day I had made quinoa to go along with some baked salmon and grilled veggies, and some of the quinoa was leftover. The next day we had something else and the quinoa just stayed in the fridge. Finally, a couple days later, on a Saturday morning, I decided to use my mom's innovative recipe and converted the quinoa into a beautiful quinoa "pie." It turned out to be pretty darn delicious!

The Making, Ingredients and all:

1. Leftover cooked quinoa. Err, doesn't necessarily have to be leftover-- you could always make some fresh quinoa (cooks just like white rice)! I used roughly about 1.5 cups, maybe. (If you are aware, I follow the eye-ball technique when it comes to cooking......)

Cooked quinoa
2. I had some leftover grated carrot salad from the previous night. Decided to just throw that in as well. Hey, you can make it as healthy as you want! The salad already had salt and some coarse peanut powder.

Grated Carrot salad (with coarsely ground peanuts)
3. Chickpea flour (specifically black chickpea flour, called "kala chana besan" in hindi)- another diabetic friendly ingredient- about 3-4 tablespoons. This acts as the binding agent.

The binding agent- chickpea flour
4. I chopped up a small onion and a couple thai green chillies. And mixed up all of this. I added a few teaspoons of water, just to get a bit of a sticky consistency, to make it easier to spread it out in a baking pan.

Qunoa "pie" mixture
5. I then sprayed a baking pan with some Pam (regular oil will work too, and if you don't care, butter would be great!). I transferred the quinoa "pie" mixture into the pan and spread it out with my palm/fingers. You gotta be quick while doing so, else the mixture can start sticking to your palm and fingers and just get all messy.

Ready to bake!
6. Before sticking it into the oven, that I pre-heated at 400 deg F, I remembered that my mom, when she made the same thing with millet, added some pats of butter on the top and then let it all bake. Yep, butter makes everything, even low GI foods, better! So after placing a few pats of butter on top, I put it away in the oven and let it bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. At the end of it, the butter was all melted and the "pie" was all nice and browned up and best of all was the aroma! So inviting!

Quinoa "pie" all baked and ready!
Delightful Quinoa "pie"
7. I cut up the "pie" into slices, like pizza slices really, and served it with my sun dried tomato pachadi. Mm, mm, delicious! It tasted nutty and chewy and the ends were nice and crisp. In fact, like my daughter pointed out, it tasted like a veggie burger, one of those whole grain bocca patties-- simply outstanding, and super filling too!

Quinoa "pie" with sun dried tomato pachadi


I realized that this awesome quinoa "pie" will make a great pizza base! I mean, if you are diabetic and you can't find diabetic-friendly pizza anywhere, or if you just want to do something super healthy for yourself, you just make this in the form of a pizza base (pat and spread it out nice and thin), bake it,  and then top it with veggies of your choice (or meat- but believe me, that will be extremely, as in EXTREMELY, heavy!!). And there, you'll have made yourself a real good, out-of-this-world-healthy, pizza!

Likewise, you can incorporate cooked millet or buckwheat or any grain, really, and create some unconventional deliciousness. Go ahead, try it today!


Anonymous said...

Good job Aparna :) . Nice addition for me to try after I come back !

Dreamer said...

Thanks! Oh ya, bet you are having a blast right now!!