Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

Quinoa and Weeds: foraging for dinner

Why hello, bloggity blog. After nearly a year of writer’s block and uninspired cooking, I have a recipe to share.

And I’m pretty sure you won’t be expecting these ingredients.

And yes, we are eating backyard weeds.

Here at the new house we have had a sad harvest of vegetables this year. Its probably more sad becasuse I had SUCH high hopes for this year. But alas, I can not do it all.

I had a HUGE garden plowed and planted, but we had to re-route water lines at the expense of  NOT watering the garden and have suffered the consequences. To date this summer we have harvested: 4 tomatoes, 2 zucchini, a handful of carrots, serrano peppers, and green bell peppers. A pathetic production for the work that was invested.  Because my garden didn’t turn out as planned this year, I’ve half jokingly turning into a gatherer of wild fruits and vegetables.

I had a recent job change which has exposed me some new folks. Among them is a holistic nurse who loves teaching (and eating!) wild edibles. After hearing about the grocery store in my backyard, last night I set out to eat weeds.

My back acreage is chock full of wild edilbes, so I have quite the recipe challenge ahead.

Meet Lamb’s Quarters.

Its also called pigweed or wild spinach. This weed loves disturbed soil and is probably growing in your backyard. Here’s some info on this site describes it a little more. Basically you can eat it raw or cooked. Use it as you would spinach.

In fact, here’s the nutritional comparison to spinach. In many areas its more nutritious, or as equal. Its higher in protein and amino acids too. All compelling information to go out and find some, for free might I add.

Lambs quarters grows abundantly in the US, and some countries cultivate it in gardens. It is hardy and insect resistant.

We used it in a side dish.

Quinoa with summer veggies (and weeds!)

1/2 red onion, chopped

3 small garden carrots, small diced (equal to one grocery store size)

1 red bell pepper

1 cup quinoa

2 cups turkey stock (or chicken, vegetable, or water)

1 cup fresh lambs quarters

Heat 1 tbs oil in a medium saucepan. Saute onions, carrots, and peppers until soft. Add quinoa and stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Add lambs quarters, place cover back on and allow leaves to wilt. Stir, season to taste and then serve.

We loved this dish, and loved knowing we gathered nutritious “weeds” out of the back acres for dinner.

**Please make sure you know what weeds you are eating. There are many dangerous look-a-likes to wild edibles.

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