Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You and Your Quinoa

Now that my new hobby is my gluten intolerance (So sexy!) I’ve come to realize that quinoa is the go-to grain, right after rice, and the Trader Joe’s faux-Cheetos cheese crunchy things that I now consider a grain.

Quinoa is fantastic because it cooks in a fraction of the time of brown rice. Just typing that last sentence so earnestly has confirmed that I have become the kind of person I never wanted to hang out with. What is happening? Where is my Bloomin' Onion™ ?

The following Quinoa and Summer Vegetables recipe was adapted from one I found on the Karina’s Kitchen website. (God love that Karina. Without her I’d just be gnawing on stale rice cakes for all three meals.) And by “adapted” I mean that instead of sticking to Karina’s list of fresh organic produce, I put in whatever vegetables were last-gasping it in the bottom of the refrigerator and it was still great. Feel free to do the same. After trying this a few different ways, I will tell you that I believe the key ingredient here is the balsamic, you can get creative with everything else, if you must.

Quinoa and Summer Vegetables
(I'll call it that because Karina calls it that and it also sounds fancier than Quinoa and Whatever.)

1 cup dry quinoa
Olive oil for sautéing

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 yellow summer squash, chopped

1 zucchini squash, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 cup white mushrooms, trimmed, sliced 

1 cup of grape tomatoes, halved

Sea salt and ground pepper

Handful of each - Fresh basil and Italian parsley, torn 

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil, to taste

Prepare the quinoa as directed on the box. For that you’ll need the quinoa and the water. I’m not re-typing that all here. Just read the box. They are the quinoa people. They know what they’re doing.

While the quinoa is cooking, in a separate pan sauté the onion until translucent, then add the garlic and heat for a minute or so, then add everything else that is vegetable, cooking until tender. Add salt, pepper, herbs and balsamic towards the end of the cooking time. Add the vegetable mixture to the prepared quinoa. Stir in just a little more olive oil.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate and eat it later as a cold salad. Before serving it cold, taste test again and adjust seasonings. When I have it the next day, it usually needs a little more balsamic.

It tastes good, it’s easy and now your fridge is cleaned out. Yay you.

Serves 4 people who better be doing the dishes because look how you slaved. *cough*


  1. Chopped veggies? No can do. I've been banned from all things sharp.

  2. Sounds delicious!

    Karen Peterson