23 June 2009

Pineapple Quinoa Stir-Fry

Some people prefer new recipes merely to slightly modify familiar dishes. Doug, for example, makes one kind of lentil soup. He is open to other, similiar lentil soups but barely tolerated my Pineapple Quinoa Stir-Fry because juicy sweetness in an entrée is an affront to his palate. I felt the same until my friends Heather and Gillian introduced me to pineapple pizza two years ago. Now I'm drawn to the possibilities of slight sweetness in an entrée or side dish.

Unlike Doug I keep on hand recipes that represent several contradictory conceptions of a good meal. So I enjoy slightly sour soups, a bean dish cooked with wine and apples, a Mexican lasagna of corn tortillas, a stir-fry cooked in ketchup instead of soy sauce, and two types of luscious whole-wheat vegan cakes. Pineapple Quinoa Stir-fry, a recipe in Veganomicon, fits neatly into my obsession with unexpected foods.

I'm sure the original recipe tastes fantasic. I made so many slug-brained modifications that only Julia said she liked it, and she possesses excellent manners. This dish probably functions better as a side dish. Next to pizza.

Sarah's Not-So-Praiseworthy Pineapple Quinoa Stir-fry Variation

I toasted blanced slivered almonds instead of cashews. A mistake.
I used canola instead of peanut oil.
I used shallots instead of scallions.
I omitted a hot red chile.
I don't know how much fresh, minced ginger I put in. Too much, apparently.
I omitted a red bell pepper.
I added far more than 1/2 Cup fresh basil, and I didn't cook it.
Ditto for fresh mint.
Instead of salad bar pineapple, I used fresh-cut pineapple chunks.
Soy sauce
Vegetable broth
I forgot the lime wedges for garnish.
Red and original quinoa, cooked in pineapple juice and water.

We all dutifully ate a bowlful, but I don't feel like eating the leftovers today: a bad sign. But without a doubt the stir-fry places in the World's Top Ten Beautiful Stir-Fries. Also delightful was the textural interplay on the tongue of pineapple chunks, peas, nuts, and quinoa. A better, or more obedient cook, could definitely turn this recipe into a masterpiece.

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