Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Take A Fresh Look At Peas And Carrots - Young English Peas Make All The Difference!

Fresh English peas and tender young carrots on quinoa.

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It's Time For English Peas
Fresh English peas are starting to appear in the markets here in Northern California. And if you planted your garden early enough, there may be some in your backyard. 

While shucking peas, I always ask myself if it's worth the trouble or if I should bother my blog followers with such a time consuming task. But then I see that small but beautiful pile of bright green peas and I immediately have the answer.

Perfection inside a pea pod.

Peas and Carrots
I was looking for something to cook for dinner last night. All I had in the house was a pound of fresh English peas and some carrots. I thought to myself, hmmmm, peas and carrots. How simple, how cliché. But sometimes the simplest dishes can surprise and delight us. 

When you think of peas and carrots, a frozen box of vegetables comes to mind - not a pretty picture. But when you shuck a pound of fresh English peas and chop tender young carrots into pea-size pieces, it is a beautiful thing to behold!

Shucked English peas and small diced carrots.

So here is a very simple dish of fresh peas, chopped carrots and some seasoning and a squeeze of lemon that when put on a bed of fluffy cooked quinoa, will make a surprisingly tasty meal rich in protein and dietary fiber.

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Fresh Peas and Carrots with Quinoa
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 6 servings]

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
1 vegan bouillon cube*
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup small diced onions
1 pound fresh English peas (about 1 to 1 1/3 cups)
1 full cup small diced carrots
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
Squeeze of fresh lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

* I use 1 serving (half a large cube) of Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with sea salt and herbs

Prepare the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse in cold water for several minutes. Place in a small saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until all of the water is fully absorbed, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, covered.

Meanwhile, prepare the peas and carrots.
Make broth in a small cup by dissolving the bouillon cube in the boiling water. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan that has a lid. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the peas, carrots, parsley and the broth. Bring to a boil. Lower  to a low boil, cover, and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 or 6 minutes.

Cook fresh peas, carrots, onions and seasoning
in a small amount of broth

When tender, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the peas and carrots. Season with salt if needed (remember, the bouillon cube already has some salt) and freshly ground black pepper.

Fluff up the quinoa. Serve the peas and carrots over the quinoa.

Per serving: 162 calories, 4.5 g total fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 114 mg omega-3 and 1,126 mg omega-6, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber and 187 mg sodium (from bouillon cube only, no added salt). 

1 comment:

Cheryl Allen Salinas said...

Looks delicious!!