Ground Beef?

There is a restaurant in Seattle that may have a stalker. That restaurant is Plum and that stalker is me.  They are a vegan restaurant about a mile from my house in the heart of Capitol Hill.  I went there with a few friends a month or so ago and cannot stop thinking their food.  I had a Buffalo Portabella burger. It was a deep-fried panko coated Portobello, dipped in buffalo sauce, with vegan ranch, grilled onions, fresh cucumber and mixed greens. YUM!

A friend of mine ordered the quinoa nachos. When the server put them on the table I thought the nachos were made from quinoa and topped with textured vegetable protein.  I was wrong.  That delicious dish was covered in this:

QUINOA!

Quinoa (keen-wa) is a fabulously healthy protein.  Many people say it’s a grain, but it’s actually a seed. Go figure, eh? It starts out like this:

Then after adding a concoction ofwalnut pieces, granulated garlic, pimento fort, cayenne pepper, and some salt, boiling it on the stove for about 20 minutes I spread it evenly on a large cookie sheet.  Like this:

and like this up close:

It’s actually quite pale at first, like the lighter color in this picture, it’s just that I forgot to take a picture at that stage. Sorry!

Keep it in the oven at 200 degrees for 7 hours give or take a few minutes depending on your oven.  It should eventually look like this:

Then, leave it in your oven overnight on the tray.  The next morning bag it up and put it in the freezer.  I decided to make nachos today and so I had to reconstitute them.

For that I put some oil in my awesome skillet added some shallots, put in a hand full of my quinoa crumbles, and let that get nice and happy for a bit.  After about 20 minutes of added water and letting the quinoa suck it up I got this:

I wasn’t a fan of that pale brown color, or the consistency so I turned up the heat and let it brown. Then, TA-DA! 

Because I have a problem and I love nachos too much I chose to use them as a topping for that.  I’m curious about the uses others have found.  I may try to make a sloppy joe, or Shepard’s pie someday.  If I do, I’ll post another entry.  I was too tired to type up the recipe I used. BUT, if you’re interested in making this recipe check out this blog: Vegan Without

Happy Eating!

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