I love cooking. If you’ve been here before you probably already know this. And if not, its probably not hard to make that assumption – this is a food blog after all! If I’m spending a night in alone, I love nothing more than to put on some music, pour a glass of red and spend a few good hours cooking in the kitchen. I like to eat healthily and to know whats in the food I eat, especially when at home, and often choose to cook from scratch where possible – be it gnocchi with homemade ricotta, or making my own pasta dough for lasagna. Its not just the cooking either, I love the whole process that goes with it – leafing through my stack of cookbooks or perusing other food blogs for recipes and inspiration. I’ve started growing my own garden so that I can pick fresh vegetables to cook with straight away. There’s just something about the whole that I find really relaxing, enjoyable and rewarding.
As much as I would love to stay at home and cook all day however I have a 9 to 5 job which I obviously need to keep to buy ingredients to cook with and new kitchen appliances when old ones break. I also go to the gym, I do yoga and Pilates, I like to spend time catching up with my friends, and spending time with my partner and our puppy, and I’m also currently studying. (And then of course there are the other less important things that I do that also waste my time, like watching every episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians as it comes out each week – please don’t judge me! ;)
Like most people, I have other commitments and responsibilities. So for the most part, as much as I’d love to be in the kitchen 24/7, my meals are usually thrown together quite quickly. Breakfast is usually a big batch of overnight oats or chia pudding made for the week ahead on the Sunday, or a quickly thrown together green smoothie. Lunch is more often than not leftovers from the previous nights dinner, or a salad. And dinner is usually a stir-fry, a quick curry, some pasta or in winter there’s always some kind of soup on the go (and for the nights when I come home late or am particularly busy, there’s always avocado on rice crackers, or a plate of nuts and fruit, or a fried egg. With tomato sauce. Lots of tomato sauce).
So to save you all from eating fried eggs swimming in tomato sauced that sounded good at the time, but regrettable afterwards, I’m going to share with you some of my quick mid-week meals that can be thrown together with only a little bit of forward planning. Starting with this dish. I often cook up a batch of whole grains at the start of the week – usually quinoa or brown rice, though sometimes Im a little more adventurous and will prepare buckwheat, millet or freekeh. I’ve only ever cooked this dish with quinoa, however I think most grains would work quite well here. You could also use different vegetables depending on what you have on hand. If you’re vegan, omit the egg and add in some crumbled firm tofu, or if you eat meat, some shredded chicken would probably go great here (and yes I realise that my only ever suggestion for the meat eaters out there is to add in shredded chicken – I havent eaten meat in nearly 16 years now so my knowledge of what would work well when it comes to pairing meat with a vegetable dish is not great I must admit!)
Vegetable quinoa scramble
Adapted from Nutritionist in the Kitch
1/2 head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
2 carrots, finely diced
6 mushrooms, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 large silverbeet/swiss chard leaves, shredded
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 eggs, whisked lightly
2 cups cooked quinoa
Half a juiced lime
1/2 Tbsp curry podwer
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
Small bunch of basil and mint (about 10 leaves each), shredded
1 avocado, peeled and sliced, to serve
Lime wedges, to serve
Heat a large frypan over medium to high heat. Add a little oil, and then add the broccoli and carrots and stir a minute or two. Add mushrooms and stir another minute, then the remaining vegetables and garlic and stir for 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the quinoa, spices and lime juice and stir to coat, then add in the eggs. Use a wooden spoon or spatular to stir the eggs through the vegetable mix.
Stir through the fresh herbs and serve with avocado and lime wedges.