Jewelled Quinoa stuffed Zebranuts
These stuffed Zebranuts are a real winner. For those who need convincing about quinoa and lentils this is the dish to try.
My inspiration for this recipe came from a recipe in Moro East. In the book Sam & Sam Clark make a jewelled pumpkin rice. The rice is a wonderfully fragrant and pretty dish that can be served as a meal or as an accompaniment to a chicken dish.
I loved the idea of the cranberries and pistachios in the dish – the sweet flavour of the cranberries mixed with the saltiness and crunchiness of the pistachios is truly a fabulous combination, the textures and falvour combination creates quite a surprise on the taste buds.
Although the original recipe uses basmati rice, I really love Quinoa. Aside from it being extremely healthy, it is a delicious grain that works really well with butternut or in this case Zebranuts. You don’t have to use zebranuts, I used them because I had some lying around.
I’m a huge fan of lentils and when cooked with some chopped onion, sliced garlic and a glug of olive oil they become completely transformed — I make a lentil soup using pretty much the same ingredients and you will not believe how fabulous it tastes.
I decided to make my dish as a stuffed zebranut instead of a zebranut and quinoa warm salad because I like the idea of everyone getting their own little meal, also I think it looks prettier.
I hope you enjoy them, they are remarkably healthy and completely delicious!
Jewelled Quinoa stuffed Zebranuts
2 zebranuts (you can use small butternuts instead)
1 and ½ onion
3 cloves garlic
1 heaped tablespoons of dried cranberries or currents
2 heaped Tablespoons of Shelled chopped Pistachios
1 cup quinoa
3 cups water
½ cup of lentils
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ ground cardamom
4 allspice berries, crushed
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Cut the zebranuts lengthwise in half. Brush each zebranut with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender. While the zebranuts are cooking, place the quinoa and 2 cups of water on the stove. To the quinoa add: 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 clove of sliced garlic and a ¼ of a chopped onion , and season with salt and pepper. Bring the quinoa to the boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes till all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is cooked.
On another plate, place the lentils in a pot with 1 cup of water. To the lentils add: tablespoon of olive oil, 1 clove of sliced garlic and a ¼ of a chopped onion, and season with salt and pepper . Allow the lentils to simmer for 30 minutes or until they are tender.
Heat the butter in a medium pan with the cinnamon and allspice until it foams, then add an onion, which has been thinly sliced across the grain, season with salt and pepper. Fry over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and is starting to colour. Add the dried cranberries/currents, pistachios and cardamom and cook for another 5 minutes more, until the onion is golden and sweet.
In a bowl, mix the fried onions, quinoa and lentils together. Taste and add season if needed.
Scrape out the inside of the roasted zebranuts and combine with the quinoa, lentil and onion mixture, stir.
Stuff the empty zebranut shells with the quinoa mixture and place back into an oven set at 180 degrees for 10 minutes, or until heated through and slightly crispy on top.
I love to eat these spicy stuffed zebranuts with tzatziki and a green salad. The wonderful Greek dip has a great cooling effect with the spices in the zebranuts. I love the cold of the salad and tzatziki with the warm stuffed zebranuts.
4 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt (full cream)
1 tablespoon cucumber grated on a fine setting (squeeze most of the juice out)
1-2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1clove of finely grated garlic
salt & pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients.