Sunday, December 19, 2010

Spanish Quinoa (keen-wah)

Recipe from Savvy Vegetarian
Adapted and husband-tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves Six: Use a pan with a good fitting lid.

Awhile back, I was asked to do a little cooking demonstration at Lost River Market & Deli with my good buddy, Janabai. The subject was quinoa and millet. As you may well imagine, I tested several quinoa recipes in preparation for this event. This particular recipe appealed to me because I love Spanish rice. I used to buy Spanish rice in a box with a “flavor” packet that is loaded with sodium. I’m making efforts not to use highly processed foods now. So, I was very happy to find this recipe. I can honestly say that this dish tastes very much like the boxed Spanish rice that I so loved, but it’s much better for me. This can be used as a side dish or as a vegetarian/vegan lunch or dinner. It's perfect for Meatless Monday. Quinoa is packed with nutrition and it’s high in protein, so this dish will be filling.

2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained (Be sure to rinse. This is an important step which will keep the quinoa from tasting bitter.)
1 - 2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 medium sized onion, chopped or 1 bunch green onions, chopped (white part)
1 small green pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder or paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ cup sliced olives (I used pimento stuffed green olives.)
Pinch of cayenne
1 (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes or 1 (8 oz.) can of tomato sauce
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Sauté the onion, bell pepper and garlic over medium heat until the onion starts to become translucent. Stir in the spices. Add quinoa and stir constantly for 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes or tomato sauce and vegetable broth, stirring occasionally until mixture begins to boil. Sprinkle with pepper. Hold off on adding any salt. Vegetable broth, canned tomatoes and olives are usually salty. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Add olives. Turn heat off and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.


Anonymous said...

Alice I thought you might want to try this recipe. Looks pretty good to me. Joann Knight

Citrusy Red Quinoa Salad


1 cup red quinoa
1 avocado
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion (about ¼ of an onion)
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
Zest of one lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
Zest of one small orange
juice of ½ small orange
1/3 English cucumber, chopped (1/2 inch cubes), about ½ cup
1/3 cup matchstick or shredded carrots
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon orange flower water
¼ cup toasted pine nuts


- Place quinoa in a fine strainer and wash thoroughly. This step is very important. The washing of quinoa rinses away a coating on the kernels called saponin which is not pleasant to the palate.
- Boil two cups of water with salt (or you may also use chicken or vegetable broth). Add quinoa and simmer on medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed, and the germ (a little white spiral) has separated from the grain, curling around it.
- Remove the pan from heat and let stand covered. Fluff with a fork and let it cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl mix all the ingredients with the quinoa. Toss to coat well and let stand for 30 minutes or more before serving in order for the flavors to mix.

You can serve this as a light lunch or with any grilled meat or tofu.
Also, if you have cherry tomatoes or any other fresh vegetable, as well as a different kind of nut, feel free to add and substitute according to your taste.

Sarah said...

We tried this recipe last week and LOVED it! While everything was coking I had the inspiration to add a can of kidney beans to it which we all agreed added a little something to the recipe that we thought would have been missing otherwise. Thanks for posting the recipes, we love browsing and finding new ones to try!

Alice said...

Joann, I will give the Citrusy Red Quinoa Salad a try. It sounds really good.

Alice said...

I'm glad you liked the Spanish Quinoa. I love your suggestion about adding kidney beans. I will try that next time I make this dish. Kidney beans will add even more fiber to this already healthy meal!