Monday, August 06, 2012

Spinach and mushroom quinoa

In preparation for my Transition meeting tonight, I needed to make a quick, but satisfying meal that would work for DH and Little One as well as for the local-food gang at the meeting. Janice suggested I use my quinoa.

Quinoa is a lovely food. At the highest protein content for any grain, it's a good substitute for vegetarians and vegans when you are craving carbs! It's also beautiful - the compact grains blossom when cooked, revealing a tiny curlique, like a seed just sprouting. The taste is firm but smooth, and it takes many sauces and accompaniments well. So, which one?

A quick search through my trust Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone turned up "Spinach and Mushrooms with Pepper." I modified it by stirring it into cooked quinoa. Et voila - shockingly simple in seasoning, but big on flavor. The curly grains were devoured by the boys, along with "Mushrooms, Broccoli and Peppers with Caramelized Golden Tofu," which also made my house smell good.

Another note: rinse your veggies in a bowl. You can take them out of the water as you need them and the dirt stays behind - then toss this healthy water on plants or your garden.

Spinach and Mushroom Quinoa

1 cup quinoa
about 10 white or brown mushrooms, sliced thickly
1 bunch spinach leaves or baby spinach
2 + 2 tbsp olive oil (I used a chili-flavored one for kick)
1 clove garlic, sliced
freshly ground pepper

Rinse quinoa well. Add 2 cups of water and cook in rice cooker until done (or on stove). In the meantime, clean mushrooms and leave in a bowl of water. Place spinach in a bowl of water to wash. Chop mushrooms.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil, add mushrooms. Cook until the juices are gone but the mushrooms are not all mushy. Add salt and lots of pepper (I used 10 twists on the pepper grinder). Place in a bowl aside.

Add rest of oil, heat and add garlic, saute 30 seconds. Add spinach and sprinkle with salt. Cook until wilted and some of the juice/water is gone. Add mushrooms and stir.

When quinoa is cooked, add to the spinach and mushrooms, add salt to taste, and more pepper. Stir well to combine.

ps - Vegetarian Cooking suggests this might be even better with butter, though I can't imagine.

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