Quinoa with Carrots and Sesame Seeds and Simple Greens

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This past weekend we just had two wonderful festivals, accompanied by equally wonderful feasts. As I partook in the festivals and also the feasts I am feeling the need for some healthy cooking so here it is.
Quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, is a grain-like substance, and a plant based whole protein. I must admit that the first few times I ate quinoa I was not inspired to try it again, but I did give it another try and not only can it be delicious, it is also healthy. Don’t you just love it when healthy and delicious are applicable to the same dish? Also, quinoa is awesome because it is actually not a grain and thus is perfect for those ekadasi days when you just can’t bring yourself to eat another potato.
If cooked improperly, quinoa can be bitter and not very tasty, so it is really important to make sure you cook it well. I highly suggest washing your quinoa before you cook it. Also, to remove some of the bitterness, you can toast the quinoa before boiling and steaming it. Quinoa is pretty versatile and can be used as a substitute for most grains in most recipes so get creative with your quinoa cooking.
I am going to share with you a simple recipe for cooking quinoa, and since greens are in season where I live, I will also share a recipe for simple greens with cream cheese.

Quinoa with Carrots and Sesame Seeds
[Recipe by Pishima]

1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 carrots peeled and grated
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp sesame seeds dry roasted
2 1/2 tsp roasted sesame oil

Wash the quinoa in a sieve and let drain. Heat a small (empty) sauce pan with lid on medium heat until a drop of water steams on the surface. Add the quinoa to the pan and toast a couple minutes stirring gently. Add the water, grated carrots and salt and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn the heat o low and cover with lid. Let simmer until all of the water is gone. When the water is gone, turn off the stove and let sit for five minutes. Add the sesame seeds and oil and gently combine, taking care not to crush the quinoa.

Simple Greens
[Recipe by Pishima]

This is a simple and easy way to cook greens that is quite tasty. My daughter eats these green with no complaint, especially if I serve them to her with some brown rice. She even asks for seconds. Yum, yum, yum!

2 bunches greens (any kale, collards etc)
1 Tbsp ghee or oil
2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp cream cheese

Wash the greens thoroughly and then chop them. Although greens wilt and shrink during cooking, make sure to chop them down to manageable size without making them too small.
Heat a pot on medium heat and add the ghee when the pot is hot. If using red pepper flakes add them now and roast a little. Add the greens and stir well. Add salt and cover the pot. Check the greens every few minutes to make sure that they are not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
If needed, you can add some water to keep it moist, but don’t drown them or they get mushy. Once the greens are cooked through, add the cream cheese. Let it melt and stir it into the greens gently.
Happy Healthy Cooking!