July 24, 2009

Fresh garden broccoli stir-fry over quinoa pasta

It seems like just yesterday I bought teeny tiny broccoli plugs for 25 cents each from a farmers market vendor. They looked so small and helpless I couldn't believe they'd survive the rabbits and other predators of tender young plants. The first week I bought four plants, and they did so well in the garden that the next week I bought four more. All have survived and grown huge and one has just yielded a large head of broccoli. It may be just a broccoli plant to you, but to me it was a gardening milestone. The broccoli got planted. The broccoli survived. The broccoli will be eaten by me and not the rabbits! I was practically hysterical with glee. I couldn't decide if I should do something simple or fancy with this ultra-fresh vegetable but decided I really wanted to focus on tasting, not disguising, the broccoli. I made a simple but delicious stir fry with artichoke hearts and lemon zest adding a special punch. Since I have lemon thyme and chives growing in the garden, I added some of those herbs, too.

The Ancient Harvest quinoa spaghetti that we used is gluten-free, and although we're not intolerant of gluten, this noodle has become a favorite of ours. The noodles are bright yellow and have a very good texture and taste. I think the only thing in the dish that wasn't gluten-free was my husband's home-made seitan sausage, and that could easily be substituted with cashews, mushrooms or beans.

 Ingredient list
  • broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • garlic, minced fine
  • vegan sausage or substitute a gluten-free item
  • artichoke hearts
  • shredded carrot
  • Quinoa pasta
  • lemon zest
  • lemon thyme
  • chives
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • crushed red pepper
First, I steamed the broccoli gently in a covered wok until almost tender. Then I removed the cover and added some oil to the wok, and added finely minced garlic to cook for a minute. Thin slices of homemade seitan sausage were stir-fried in, then artichoke hearts, shredded carrot, lemon zest and lemon thyme. The cooked veggies were placed on top of quinoa spaghetti, and crushed red pepper, fresh ground black pepper and chives were added.

Garden tour (of our garden) on July 20.
Dill © 2009 Andrea's easy vegan cooking

Basil  © 2009 Andrea's easy vegan cooking

This has been eaten. © 2009 Andrea's easy vegan cooking

Three kinds of lettuce.  © 2009 Andrea's easy vegan cooking

One of the tomato plants. © 2009 Andrea's easy vegan cooking

Tumbling Tom.  © 2009 Andrea's easy vegan cooking

Swiss chard. © 2009 Andrea's easy vegan cooking

Asian lily. © 2009 Andrea's easy vegan cooking


  1. When I first saw the photo, I thought the "pasta" was spaghetti squash--it really is yellow!

    Congrats on the broccoli and all of your other beautiful garden treats...I am jealous :-)


  2. Courtney,
    The other ingredient in the noodles that I completely forgot to mention is corn flour. That would explain the color.

  3. Hooray for your first broccoli!!! (Ours has done nothing so far.... be we are hopeful...)

    Sorry I grumbled on your comment.


  4. Your garden is looking good Andrea! Mine's is looking a might soggy just now. Nice dish! I haven't heard of quinoa pasta before, I must look out for it.

  5. Your garden is looking good Andrea! Mine's is looking a might soggy just now. Nice dish! I haven't heard of quinoa pasta before, I must look out for it.

  6. We know just how you feel about the broccoli, Andrea! John has an allotment and we LOVE eating home-grown vegs. It's such a thrill! Your stirfry looks great and we both loved the photos of your herbs, tomatoes, chard and lily.

  7. Claire,
    You will probably end up with buckets of broccoli, you're such good gardeners!

    We really love the quinoa noodle and use them often.

    Thanks, Penny. And by the way, we didn't eat the lily. :D

  8. I would be hysterically gleeful with a garden full of broccoli. I eat it every day and wonder how much money I could save by growing my own. Maybe someday when our drought ends...

    So obviously, this stirfry looks incredible! I don't eat a lot of pasta, but the quinoa is my favorite too.

  9. Diann,
    It's taken a long time for my thumb to green up so every garden success is a thrill. We've had a great summer for gardening with rain doing the watering at night. We've watered a little but not much, and we use loads of mulch.

  10. Your garden is so beautiful! I wish I had one.
    Quinoa pasta sounds fantastic and noodles with seitan looks like something I could eat all day long.

  11. It's so awesome! I'm happy I found a new vegan cook blog! So great!

  12. Your garden looks amazing! And I'm so glad your tiny broccoli plants survived!!

    I am loving the look of that pasta! So many of my favourites in one great dish.

  13. Mihl,
    Thanks! Quinoa pasta is so good - we really like.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I've enjoyed reading your, too!

    The broccoli is going berserk! We're eating as much as we can but it's ahead of us. And the tomatoes are starting to ripen Yay! There's even a jalapeno or two.


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