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Have you tried Quinoa yet? It’s starting to become more and more popular, and I hadn’t really gotten around to trying it out until my sister started singing it’s praises.
I have to say, I’m impressed! I’ve made this four times in the last few weeks.

Quinoa is actually a seed (some people argue it’s a grain) that looks a bit like couscous in it’s dried state.  Once cooked, it actually has a bit more bite to it than couscous.  You cook it the same way you would white rice.  I’ve been told it’s got more protein, vitamins and  iron and less carbs than rice, so it makes a great replacement for the health conscious among you.

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It’s got a very mild taste, but it takes on the flavours of any dressing/sauce really well.  I’ve found that serving the leftovers cold the next day as a salad really makes it absorb even more flavour.

This whole meal comes out at 494 calories per person!

Pan Fried Trout with Quinoa, Roasted Vegetables and Feta (Serves 4):
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped (22 cals)
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped (20 cals)
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 200g) peeled and chopped into chunks (172 cals)
  • 1 medium courgette/zucchini chopped into chunks (33 cals)
  • 2 tsps olive oil (80 cals)
  • 1 tsp cumin (8 cals)
  • 1 tsp paprika (6 cals)
  • 2 cloves garlic grated/minced (10 cals)
  • 200g dried Quinoa (736 cals)
  • 1 chicken/veg stock cube or 1 tsp veg bouillon if gluten free (15 cals)
  • 4 x trout fillets – about 115g each (580 cals)
  • 8 sprays of ‘1 cal-per-spray’ cooking oil (8 cals)
  • 100g feta cheese (274 cals)
  • Handful of washed baby spinach (10 cals)
  • Zest of 1 lemon (negligible cals)
  • Salt and pepper

 Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c and get some water boiling for your quinoa (about 400ml should do it).  Place the chopped red and green pepper, sweet potato and courgette onto a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil.  Sprinkle the cumin, paprika and a pinch of salt and pepper and give everything a good shake.  Place in the oven for 20 mins.  Halfway through the cooking, open the oven, sprinkle the chopped garlic on and and give everything a good shake again (putting the garlic in at the beginning can cause it to burn).
  2. Once your water is boiling, tip in the stock cube/bouillon and the quinoa.  Give it a stir, then put the lid on and leave to cook on a very gentle heat for 20 minutes.
  3. 10 minutes before the end of the Quinoa and roasted veg cooking time (just after you’ve put the garlic in with the roasted veg), heat up a large frying pan.  Spray it with the spray oil.  Season the trout, and place in the frying pan skin side down.  Cook for 3 minutes on a medium to high heat.  Turn over and cook for another 2 minutes.  Then turn the heat off and leave in the pan to rest whilst you plate up.
  4. At this point you should be ready to assemble everything.  Drain the Quinoa if required, then add the roasted veg (including any oil from the baking tray), feta and spinach.  Give it a mix, then put on a plate with the trout fillet resting on top and garnish with the lemon zest.

***Tip*** Any leftovers should be cooled and placed (covered) in the fridge.  Tastes great served up cold the next day!

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