Hye Thyme Cafe: Veggies over Quinoa (Olives, Asparagus...)

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Veggies over Quinoa (Olives, Asparagus...)

Veggies Over Qinoa ; Hye Thyme Cafe

It was a very sad night here in my kitchen I'm afraid. I had not one, not two, but THREE disasters! Fortunately, this dish that I served last night alongside my "Karate" Chops was fantabulous!

My first failure of the day was a batch of Beet Chips. In looking at various recipes, the temps varied pretty widely. Some of the pics looked "extra crispy," so I was thinking the higher temps were not a good mix with the natural sugar in the beets. I decided to let them cook for a longer time at a lower temp. Well, two hours later at 250, they had practically evaporated! They were about 1/3 the size they went in at and still weren't crisp! I ended up with a batch of "Beet Chews" that tasted great but weren't what I was looking for. The silver lining was that my sister had a piece of Butternut Squash on the counter, so I sliced up the rest of it and added it to the Beets. The Butternut Squash was awesome! So for future reference - beets cook quickly at a high temp, but Butternut Squash likes to luxuriate in a warm oven. 

My next fail was string cheese. I made a Dill String Cheese a while back and it came out great. I was trying to think of something different and settled one Buffalo and one traditional Armenian version. I later realized that was kinda funny - "Buffalo" Mozzarella String Cheese. I tried that one first, and when it didn't come together, I figured either I shouldn't try adding a liquid to the curd or the buffalo sauce was too cold and had shocked it. OK, I'll do the traditional ... that one didn't turn out either?!?!  😧

I was planning to make Yogurt for the first time today too, but after all that, I was afraid to go back in the kitchen. I'll stick to posting my new side from last night ...

1 c quinoa
2 c chicken broth
1 lg asparagus
1 red onion, sliced
2 scallions, chopped
1 container mixed olives, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Bring the broth and quinoa to a boil, then set to low and let it sit while you prep and cook your veggies. Give it a peek in a while, and if all of the broth has been absorbed, just keep it on warm until you're ready for it. I did NOT salt the quinoa for this particular dish because the olives will provide enough once poured over.

For the veggies, start by chopping the ends off the asparagus and dropping them in a pan of boiling water for 3-4". Plunge them in cold water to stop them from cooking anymore, drain, and set them aside for now.

Saute the garlic and onions in olive oil until translucent. I forgot this pan has a high spot that doesn't work well on a flat-top stove, so I saw a little scorching start. If this happens, don't panic - just give it a splash of broth or white wine to deglaze it, and avoid anything staying on that spot for too long. I used a little chicken broth.

Once the onions cook down, add the scallions and olives. I opted for a mix of colossal green olives marinated in garlic, kalamatas, and Peppadew peppers from the olive bar. I just LOVE Peppadews! They are sweet and hot at the same time. While those guys are getting settled, go ahead and cut your asparagus into 1-2" pieces.

Because you blanched the asparagus, you're just looking to heat them through now, so gently toss them in when you're a  minute or two away from how cooked you want everything. We like our asparagus a little on the al dente side rather than very soft. 

To serve, scoop some quinoa onto the plate and spoon the veggies over the top. Enjoy!  :)

Veggies Over Qinoa ; Hye Thyme Cafe


  1. Thanks. It sounds like a weird combination, but it really is good. When I was thinking about dinner that night, I had in mind something my sister makes, but her dish has fennel, capers, etc. I forgot all about that stuff. LOL Haven't tried the cheese again yet, but I'm crossing my fingers and about to head up and try some more beets. ;)


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