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What to do with Quinoa?

I have never made this and I bought a package at the supermarket of red quinoa and have no clue what to do with it or even how to make it. Is it like barley?

If you can share any recipes or any ideas. Does it taste good? Thanks so much!

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  1. I use same way as rice/cous cous. Some dishes need a heavy base like rice, some a medium base like cous cous, and some go well with a light and fluffy base like quinoa.

    1. Was this from the bulk bin, or in a box with directions?

      Quinoa needs to be rinsed to remove a bitter surface substance, but packaged quinoa has already been rinsed (but read the directions). Otherwise preparation is like rice. It's done when the little 'rings' separate from the 'grains'.

      In texture it is rather like couscous, and any recipe for seasoning the one would work with. Taste, by itself, is not exceptional; in that regard is like most grains. more like a canvas than a paint.

      1. I use it (and bulgur wheat is another favorite) in the place of rice or pastas in any sort of salad. Just last week I stirred it into sauteed mushrooms, shallots and spinach, adding a few olives and crumbled feta, then stuffed into a portobella and baked, with spicy tomato sauce underneath. I'll do a similar filling as above, then mix in a few eggs and bake until set. You can also use either as a breakfast, flavoring it with cinnamon, honey and fruit.

        One important thing - RINSE the quinoa thorougly before cooking. It has a natural soap-like coating that makes it resistant to birds. You want to rinse that off or you'll get some bitterness in the final product.

        1. I made this recipe lately, and 'twas insanely tasty. Used vegetable broth to cook the quinoa and added a little curry powder and fried tofu chunks to the garbanzo recipe.


          1. Wow, great ideas everyone!!! Thanks for the links as well! I think I am going to make katecm's recipe with the mushrooms, shallots and spinach. I have some chicken breat that I will make, too!

            Thanks, this was very helpful!

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Thanks for that. Our older daughter introduced us to it over Christmas and I loved it. First thing I did when we got home was search. And there's been no turning back. I even made it for breakfast one day using milk. I've found the rice cooker does a great job. We're at 6300' elevation and evidently quinoa is like rice up here --- hard to get it done.

              2. I made this dish recently while some changes. Instead of water and lemon I used chick stock. And instead of peas I frozen edamame. Next time I'll use less carrot (made it taste too sweet) and try it with the water and lemon ( I think it will taste lighter). But over all it was a good (quick) side dish for salmon.

                Quinoa Pilaf http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/quinoa-...

                1. I've made this recipe. Quinoa and broccoli.


                  I've found that it is still tasty without green onions and cashew pieces.
                  I've used chicken broth, and I've used vegetable broth, and just plain water.
                  I've made it bare bones, without red onion.

                  No matter how you make it, it's a healthful dish.

                  1. I made quinoa for the first time as a side last week. Cooked it with chicken broth instead of water. Mixed in sauteed onion, bell pepper, thai chile, and minced garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. It was quite tasty.

                    1. Quinoa is so cute♥! I think it's my favorite grain just based on cuteness, plus the ancient history. I've read that the Incas called quinoa chisaya mama -- "mother grain" -- and considered it sacred. I actually discovered quinoa b/c of its history; I was teaching 7th graders about ancient cultures, and we featured quinoa in our feast of the Americas. :-)

                      So last week I tried quinoa in this modern take on a creamy mushroom casserole -- (as above, I rinsed the quinoa three times very carefully, and cooked it in chicken broth, 2x broth to quinoa).

                      Quinoa Casserole -- This is a creamy quinoa mushroom casserole with spinach, dill, lemon, and a crunchy Parmesan top. Mmmmm! This is delicious and very cozy!

                      1 large onion, chopped finely
                      several cloves garlic, minced
                      10 ounces mushrooms, chopped finely
                      5 ounces fresh baby spinach, trimmed
                      3 cups cooked quinoa (cook in broth and fluff when done)
                      1 cup cottage cheese
                      3/4 to 1 cup sour cream
                      1/3 cup Parmesan plus more to grate on top
                      2 TBSP fresh dill
                      1 lemon
                      salt, freshly ground black pepper,
                      Aleppo chile for kick (optional)

                      Preheat oven to 350.

                      Sautee one large onion (chopped) and 3 to 4 minced cloves of garlic in olive oil until onion is soft, then add 3/4 pound chopped mushrooms and cook a few more mins, and finally thrown in about 5ounces spinach in the last two minutes. Remove from heat.

                      Combine mushroom mixture with 3 cups cooked quinoa (cook in broth for more flavor). Add 3/4 cup to 1 full cup sour cream, 1 cup cottage cheese, 2 Tbsp fresh dill, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, lots of black pepper, a little salt, a little Aleppo chile if you like some heat, and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Mix well and put in 2 quart glass baking dish. Dust top with paprika and grate on more Parmesan cheese.

                      Bake at 350, covered snugly with foil for 25 minutes, then uncovered until top is browning and casserole bubbles (another 15 to 20 mins).

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: twilight goddess

                        if you think quinoa is cute, you should try amaranth or teff! ;)

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          So I could use teff for something other than injera?!? :)

                          1. re: c oliver

                            heck yes! the flour is really versatile, and you can use the grains to make teff "polenta," tabbouleh, porridge, pilaf...they also add great texture - similar to poppy seeds - to muffins & quick breads. i even combine it with the oats when i'm making granola.

                            there's a bunch of recipes for the whole grain on the Bob's Red Mill website - good place to start:

                            if you Google teff recipes you'll find tons that use the flour - many on GF blogs & websites.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              It's our preferred grain for tabbouleh these days, but it disappears quickly so I need to constantly increase batch size.

                      2. I make quinoa all the time. It is very good for you and it tastes great. Regardless of the end result I almost always cook in chicken broth.

                        Mix with herbs and chopped vegetables for a nice salad. It takes to extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice well.

                        Add chopped vegetables during cooking for a pilaf.

                        Tonight I made cakes for the first time and they came out great. I mixed about 2 cups of quinoa with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, half a cup of chopped parsley, two minced scallions (white and green), plenty of black pepper and one beaten eggs. Form into cakes and shallow fry like potato pancakes. I served with yogurt mixed with sriracha. Really crispy and really good, the quinoa did not absorb much oil at all.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: MVNYC

                          MVNYC - stupid question - I know the answer - just want to be sure ...

                          I, too, almost always use chicken broth in place of water - and make it in many different ways. I like your cakes - drum roll.... the quinoa is already cooked right?

                          1. re: smilingal

                            Yes already cooked. They were good cold the next day too.

                            1. re: MVNYC

                              sounds great - looking forward to trying them!

                          2. re: MVNYC

                            Do you think this could be done in little balls? Like arancini?

                            1. re: c oliver

                              absolutely! you just might need to use a little more binder than you do with rice-based arancini to hold the balls together before breading, because quinoa lacks that gluey starch.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                Exactly, the quinoa cakes start out more like batter than a potato pancake. However I would think you would need to use too much flour.

                                1. re: MVNYC

                                  i use a combination of egg and cheese and a little ground flax or chia to bind them...maybe just a *teeny* bit of rice flour if they need it...but there's certainly no concern about too much flour.

                          3. Broth instead of water. Use butter and some salt too (if the broth doesn't have it) as you would for rice. A lot of the quinoa boxes don't say to use any fat or salt in the preparation, but that's omitted because of the food weirdos who seem to be oddly attracted to quinoa.

                            Red quinoa is a lot different from brown quinoa. Brown gets light and fluffy, but red stays more dense and firm. I like both.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: slopfrog

                              I don't remember where this recipe came from, but it's very good.I make it with coconut milk. I even like it for breakfast when there's a bit left over...

                              Quinoa Corn Chowder

                              • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
                              • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
                              • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
                              • 14 oz. coconut milk ( or milk)
                              • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
                              • 1 large white potato peeled and cubed
                              • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
                              • 3 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
                              • ½ teaspoon salt
                              • ½ cup uncooked quinoa, soaked for 10 minutes and rinsed
                              • Parsley sprigs to garnish

                              • Pepper to taste

In a large pot on low heat the oil, sauté onion, garlic, quinoa, potato and corn for approximately 7 minutes.
                              Next add vegetable stock and the bay leaves and simmer for 30 minutes.
                              Add coconut milk or milk and seasonings and increase heat for a few minutes.
                              Remove from heat, garnish with parsley and serve.

                            2. I just purchased a great Quinoa book @ Costco. The authors are Canadian so I'm not sure if this has hit Amazon as yet. The book is more than just a cookbook, it also includes historical info about Quinoa, lots of tips and endless enthusiasm.

                              Here's a link to their website along w some recipes:


                              1. I also like it for breakfast. I cook it the night before ot save time in the morning, then reheat in the microwave and sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon over it.

                                1. I love making it with spinach or kale. I'll just put the quinoa in my rice cooker, with greens in the steamer insert. Delicious lunch in less time than it takes to make breakfast.

                                  A favorite dinner is roast chicken with vegetables and quinoa. I like to add some drippings from the chicken to the quinoa, it's a little addition that packs a lot of flavor (I do the same thing with rice).

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: caseyjo

                                    +1 for the spinach and kale.

                                    Quinoa is so healthy, and I love just adding fantastically healthy and flavorful foods to it. Quinoa soaks up flavors and can really be adapted to anything.

                                    My Quinoa and Garlicky Vegetables is:

                                    For the Quinoa:
                                    1 cup uncooked quinoa
                                    1.5 cups vegetable stock
                                    1 pinch red pepper

                                    For the Vegetables:
                                    1 tbs oil
                                    3 cloves garlic
                                    1 shallot
                                    1/2 cup vegetable stock
                                    1 bunch kale, chopped
                                    1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
                                    1 celery stalk, diced
                                    1 green onion, sliced
                                    a handful of cashews, lightly crushed

                                    For the quinoa, begin by rinsing the quinoa in warm water using a fine sieve. Then, in a medium pot, bring the vegetable stock, quinoa, and red pepper to a gentle boil. Cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, remove from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

                                    For the vegetables:
                                    In a large skillet/saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and shallot and cook for one minute. Then, add the kale, coating it all in the oil. Saute for about 2 minutes and then slowly pour in some of the stock.

                                    Let the kale wilt in the steam. When the kale is just about done, add the cabbage and the celery. If needed, add more stock. Cook for about 4-5 minutes. (I like my vegetables crunchy, so if you like them soft, feel free to cook longer).

                                    Top the quinoa with the mixture and garnish with the nuts and green onion.


                                  2. toast it in a dry pan before doing whatever else you do.

                                    11 Replies
                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        adds a toasty/nutty element to the flavor. it's really nice!

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          Most grains are enhanced by either dry or oil toasting, deepening the flavor and, as ghg says, adding nuttiness.

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            I'll try that. I've done it with oil ala risotto but not dry.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              Do you do this before or after rinsing? Or do you just buy it prerinsed?

                                          2. re: magiesmom

                                            I'm just now going to toast 2 cups, one cup at a time in a 350F heated oven.
                                            Which reminds me, that I always rinse my quinoa first.

                                            Do you rinse your quinoa and dry it before toasting?

                                            1. re: Rella

                                              Do you rinse your quinoa and dry it before toasting?
                                              yes. i even rinse the stuff that's "pre-rinsed" because i find it sometimes still has a slightly musty odor.

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                I went ahead and toasted the quinoa without rinsing not seeing your response. One question: do you let it dry a little in some way before putting it into the oven?

                                                I toasted in 3 batches on a baking sheet. The taste was certainly different - smokey or a burnt taste, although it didn't look like I had burnt any of it.

                                                1. re: Rella

                                                  yikes, i wish i had noticed what you said about doing it in the oven! i just rinse in a fine-mesh sieve & shake off any excess water, but i toast it in a *skillet* on the stove - you have to be able to move the seeds around so you get even toasting...and complete moisture evaporation/drying if you rinsed it. it's a similar concept to risotto - you toast the rice grains on the stove top - not in the oven - before adding the cooking liquid.

                                                  it shouldn't taste "burnt," just slightly toasted or nutty. was the flavor bitter? if so, i'm guessing you were tasting saponins from the protective coating that needs to be rinsed off before cooking.

                                            2. re: magiesmom

                                              Yes! Toasting makes a big difference. We also like the Bob's Red Mill version that is pre-rinsed. And then use a rice cooker for perfect texture.

                                              And it freezes well too.

                                            3. my favorite way is made with chicken broth and butter, add toasted pine nuts, then mix in some chopped frisee or some other slightly peppery green that has been dressed with a lemon/dijon/shallot vinaigrette. such delicious contrasts of flavors and textures....

                                              the simplest way to add a lot of flavor is finely minced shallots, drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, no matter how else you prepare it.

                                              1. Cooked quinoa is great for a Greek salad: toss with chopped black olives, onions, tomatoes, cubes of feta cheese, sprigs of fresh coriander, lemon juice & good olive oil.

                                                1. Quinoa cooks quicker than rice so that is a plus. You need a fine sieve to rinse and drain or you will lose a bit. A quick favorite is sauteed shitake mushrooms, spinach and tofu over quinoa with a bit of tamari. I don't mind it cold for lunch. Cold rice can be dismal.

                                                  1. Today I tried it for breakfast - rinsed 1/2 red quinoa, cooked it 10min with 1c water, added a cup of rolled oats, and another 2 c water - cooked till both were done. It adds a nice contrasting texture to regular oatmeal. (salt, sugar etc to taste)

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      Yotam Ottolenghi has a couple of salad recipes using quinoa. I've only made the one with arugula and dried apricots (fab), but I've never made anything from his recipes that was not really good.



                                                    2. This is one from 101 Cookbooks. It's a bit time-consuming, but is really, really delicious. I usually throw in a bit of extra lemon zest and juice in the pesto.I also use toasted walnuts instead of almonds and serve with feta.

                                                      1. I sometimes make a quinoa stuffing for winter squash, like kabocha. But my favorite weeknight kind of thing is a simple curry with quinoa and cauliflower. It's SO good!

                                                        Curried Quinoa with Cauliflower

                                                        2 T. oil (canola, high-oleic safflower, or olive oil)
                                                        1 medium onion, chopped
                                                        3 cloves garlic, minced
                                                        1 T. minced fresh ginger
                                                        1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch half-moons
                                                        1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets
                                                        1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
                                                        5 t. curry powder
                                                        1/4 t. cayenne pepper
                                                        1 cup water
                                                        1 cup frozen peas

                                                        1 cup quinoa (recommend Ancient Harvest’s no-rinse variety)

                                                        Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic and carrot, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, spices and salt, and cook for another minute. Add 1 cup water, then cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add the peas during the last minute of cooking.

                                                        Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to the package directions. Mix the curried vegetables into the quinoa and serve. Top with nonfat yogurt or raita, and toasted slivered almonds.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: cathyeats

                                                          cathy - could you share your recipe for the stuffed kabocha?

                                                          1. re: smilingal

                                                            cathy has one on her blog - figured she wouldn't mind if i posted the link for you (at least i hope not!)


                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                              Thanks for posting, goodhealthgourmet! I do love the quinoa-stuffed kabocha, too.

                                                              Forgot to say, I like red quinoa better than the regular kind. I think it has a slightly nuttier flavor. And I always buy the "no rinsing required" brand! (Ancient Harvest, I think it's called).

                                                        2. Our maid in bolivia taught me to make a quinoa cassarole, layered w/ slices of tomato, onion, cheese and sliced boiled egg.

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                            That sounds seriously good. Was there any liquid in it? Another snow storm is on the way so that sounds like a great dinner one night.

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              It probably is made with cooked quinoa.

                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                I figure cooked but didn't know if liquid got added. Maybe the onion and tomato exude enough liquid.

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  Cooked quinoa, no liquid except pisco sours for the chef!

                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                    I haven't had a pisco sour in soooo long. Mmmm.

                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                  I used to be such a fan of pisco sours in Chile in 1996! Tangy!

                                                                3. I've recently learned how much I love quinoa. I found two good dreciepes on Epicurious.com from bon appetite - do a search for quinoa salad with mango (I made it recently with persimmons and it was even better!!), and quinoa and garbanzo bean salad with paprika dressing.

                                                                  1. Like most of the other replies, using Quinoa like couscous or a simple grain is the way to go. It pairs well with most recipes that work for those. Only note that I'd like to add is that sometimes you will still have a hint of the bitter left even after washing. To counter that I like using broth (chicken most commonly), fats (such as butter or olive oil), or natural sweetners (a bit of carrot for example). I never really notice the bitterness anymore or maybe I've gotten better at rinsing it, but I've heard some friends mention the mild bitter element when they try quinoa the first time.

                                                                    Nice to hear you got the red quinoa as I find it has a bit of flavor on its own too... a bit earthy/savory similar to wild grains.

                                                                    1. One of my very favorite quinoa recipes is a dish my husband and I call "Delicious Quinoa Breakfast" (aka DQB). Cook some quinoa, top with salsa, and then fry an egg and put it on top. Also add some cheese (my husband likes cottage cheese, I prefer a grated pepper jack). It makes for a hearty and healthy breakfast (or lunch, or dinner....) Enjoy!

                                                                      1. Try making a chilli with it. When it cooks a long time, the quinoa grains explode and the texture ressembles ground beef. You can use half the ground beef, while increasing nutritional value. I'll bet the family won't even notice.
                                                                        I cook my red quinoa in water 1:1 3/4 Bring water to boil. Add rinsed qinoa. Bring back to the boil. Cover. Reduce flame to minimum and cook 15 min. Turn off heat and let sit 10 min, covered. Fluff.
                                                                        I use this alot when I serve Indian (rajma masala, sambar, toor dal, palak paneer). The nuttiness goes great with the spices.

                                                                        1. Quinoa is pretty neutral with a grainy flavor. Don't over cook. We use it in place of rice/cous cous/or other grains. It is lighter in the mouth, kind of springy, and super healthy.

                                                                          We do variations with fruit like a pilaf or with veg and lamb burger/

                                                                          1. Quinoa Paella!!! Check out the link to see a foto of a friend and I prizing the Quinoa Paella we made on the beach in Peru a few weeks ago. You gotta try it, everyone loved it!

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Macadamia

                                                                              how do we try it??? Please share the recipe!

                                                                              1. re: smilingal

                                                                                I imagine they followed a regular paella recipe (or Peruvian version - I don't detect much safron), and used rinsed quinoa. It probably would be easier than with rice, since quinoa is smaller, and cooks a bit faster.

                                                                            2. I was actually searching for quinoa recipes and this thread popped up. I was hoping to find some dishes where its served hot. I love the casserole with zucchini, I'm trying that. perhaps I could make the dish and use eggplant, like a moussaka. Tonight would not be that night though, and I do need a side for my lamb chops. I might have to lean on couscous until I feel more comfortable and try it. The soapy thing about it is scarey, and I just hope my mesh strainer will hold the tiny grains..but I can see where using chicken broth would be appealing ( i use it for couscous) and i like the looks of that pot of chili!

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                tell me more about the lamb chops and i can help you come up with a simple hot quinoa preparation to serve with them...

                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                  CC - don't be concerned about the soapy thing - I have never experienced this in the years I have been making quinoa - and the mesh strainer - if it is the smaller mesh it will be absolutely fine - I went out to purchase that when I started making quinoa - quinoa is so versatile - I almost always will use broth instead of water - I often will brown or carmelize some diced onions first, sometimes, if I remember, I might brown the quinoa in a dry pan first also before adding the liquid. After it is cooked is when I add in other things - broccoli - you can be creative - I would think some garlic and mushrooms would be great but DH doesn't like shrooms. I always serve it hot.

                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                    I buy arrowhead mills and there is no need to even wash it, comes out the same either way. Quinoa is very easy to work with

                                                                                  2. I made a sort of quinoa pudding last night that was delicious for the first cold night in a while. Rinsed then toasted the grains (1/2 cup), then added 3/4 cup water and 1/4 milk and some lemon zest - brought to boil then reduced and covered until all the liquid was dissolved. I then added 1 cup of coconut milk and about 4 tsp of coconut/palm sugar and a bit of ground ginger, and cooked over low heat until that was all absorbed. Ate it warm, although would be good cooled too. Delicious for dessert. Would work well as a breakfast too.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: haiku.

                                                                                      Would work well as a breakfast too.
                                                                                      sure does! cardamom also plays beautifully with the ginger. and it's terrific with almond milk or goat milk (if you do dairy). i usually fold in a bit of dried fruit and some toasted nuts or seeds.

                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                        I usually make it with 2% and cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg, but wanted to try something different this time.
                                                                                        I think some coconut in it would work too... hmm...

                                                                                        1. re: haiku.

                                                                                          I think some coconut in it would work too
                                                                                          i think you're right ;) and i'll bet some chopped toasted pistachios or macadamias would go quite nicely with the coconut...

                                                                                    2. I made this the other day,

                                                                                      Quinoa and Black Bean stuffed Cubanelle Peppers

                                                                                      2 cups quinoa cooked in chicken broth (mostly cooked through)
                                                                                      1 cup cooked black beans
                                                                                      4-5 large cubanelle peppers cut in half lengthwise
                                                                                      1 jalapeno diced
                                                                                      1 onion diced
                                                                                      2 cloves garlic minced
                                                                                      1 can diced tomatoes
                                                                                      1 teaspoon of cumin (I used more but I love cumin)
                                                                                      1 teaspoon mexican oregano
                                                                                      1 teaspoon Goya adobo powder
                                                                                      1 teaspoon black pepper
                                                                                      cheese for topping (I had swiss on hand so I used that)

                                                                                      Sweat the onion, cumin and jalapeno until onion is translucent. Add garlic until fragrant. Add can of diced tomatoes, adobo and oregano. Cook for about 5 minutes until some of the juice has evaporated. Add quinoa and cook until mostly absorbed. Combine with black beans and fill the peppers. Bake at 375 until the peppers are soft, about 12 minutes. Top with cheese and broil until lightly browned. Garnish with cilantro.

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                        That sounds terrific. I'm forwarding it to one of my daughters who eats a lot more vegetarian than we do. Thanks.

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          You could make it without the chicken broth although it is much better with it. I admit I like most of my grains cooked in broth.

                                                                                          I sometimes add some chopped vegetables into the mix. Small circles of asparagus or diced mushrooms are good. If they are small enough they cook while it is roasting.

                                                                                          1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                            They're not vegetarians, total omnivores. But know that on many levels, eating meat at every meal or even every day is totally not necessary. She's a good influence on me :)

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                              I am a total omnivore as well and totally agree. I try for a day a week of no meat but try to make sure I get my protein. This works well for that with the quinoa and beans. I suppose homemade chicken broth technically has meat/gelatin in it but I don't go too crazy.

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                reminds me of my nephew (6 years old), who like to remind everyone he's '"half-vegetarian!" i think I may be too.

                                                                                          2. re: MVNYC

                                                                                            Oh, I can't wait to try this!!

                                                                                          3. I like this for something springish - the asparagus, peas, shiitakes, and mint feel very seasonal. Good with some grated Parmesan, and if you want a vegetarian main, some cannelini added. As a side, would serve 6-8.


                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                              Wow, that just got saved. Makes my mouth do a little dance. Thanks.

                                                                                            2. I've been having trouble with quinoa. The only recipe that worked well for me is one in which the grain is gently toasted in a pan first.

                                                                                              I tried a Madhur Jaffrey recipe that turned out to have too much liquid in relation to the grain...big flop. Then for Easter, I did the simmering and resting technique for the grain (with proper ratio), then added the grain to a skillet in which I'd sauteed green onion, carrot, celery, etc.

                                                                                              The problem is, when the grain is simply cooked in a saucepan, it may absorb the liquid completely and successfully, but it doesn't really fluff up with a fork. It gets dense and clumps. I can break it up to some extent, but it's still lumpy. Taste is good though.

                                                                                              Any suggestions?

                                                                                                1. I highly recommend quinoa. It tastes great! I particularly like the red quinoa, and recommend getting the Ancient Harvest brand, which is pre-rinsed.

                                                                                                  I recently made this quinoa pilaf with artichokes and ramps, which was delicious. http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2011...
                                                                                                  You can vary this basic recipe in all kinds of ways, such as asparagus instead of ramps. Here's the recipe:

                                                                                                  Spring Quinoa Pilaf with Ramps, Artichokes and Peas

                                                                                                  1 bunch ramps
                                                                                                  2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
                                                                                                  1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                                                                                                  2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
                                                                                                  4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
                                                                                                  10 baby artichoke hearts
                                                                                                  3 cloves garlic, minced
                                                                                                  ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
                                                                                                  2 cups quinoa, well rinsed (unless you use a pre-rinsed variety
                                                                                                  )1/2 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
                                                                                                  3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
                                                                                                  1 cup frozen peas
                                                                                                  Salt to taste
                                                                                                  Freshly ground black pepper to taste

                                                                                                  Cut the green ramp leaves off the stems, and chop the stems. Bring a pot of water to boil. Drop in the ramp leaves and blanch for about one minute. Drain and puree in a food processor with the lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley and 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil. Set aside until needed.

                                                                                                  Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a medium bowl of cold water, and throw the squeezed lemons into the water, too.

                                                                                                  Peel away the tough outer leaves of the baby artichokes, until just the more tender light green leaves are left. Cut off the top 1/2 inch from the artichoke and trim the stem of any tough-looking parts. Quarter the artichokes and put them in the lemon water while you start the risotto.

                                                                                                  Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy saucepan. Drain the artichokes from the lemon water and sauté them for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped ramp stems and cook 5 minutes more. Add the quinoa and sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the wine and fresh thyme, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.

                                                                                                  Add the broth; bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the peas and simmer another 4-6 minutes, stirring often. (The quinoa should be almost soft but still have a bit of a crunch. You should see a little white ring separating from each grain.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in ramp puree and serve.

                                                                                                  Serves about 6

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: cathyeats

                                                                                                    Wow, Cathy, love that post - and now your site! Fabulous looking recipes - I'm very excited to dive in.