I first learned about quinoa from reading Karina’s Kitchen – and though I was impressed with it’s protein packed punch, versatility, and simple preparation, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to eat it. If it doesn’t taste great I’d rather pass.
Being curious, I decided to try this tiny grain-like food. One bite was all it took. I love quinoa, and, suprisingly, so does Joe. In fact, he likes it more than rice.
Quinoa can be pretty boring all by itself. Sometimes I want it that way but most of the time I want to jazz it up. I thought I’d see how much flavor I could get into this nutty flavored grain by cooking it like a risotto and then stirring in one of my favorite flavor boosters – parmesan cheese. The result? Cooked to perfection and tastes like summer. (It’s 100 degress in Dallas so I’m still thinking summer!)
What do you do to add flavor to ‘boring’ foods?
And – my new blog carnival – Slightly Indulgent Mondays – starts August 31st. Your recipe doesn’t have to be sugar or gluten-free. Just fabulous food, a little healthier. Read the details here.
Find more food inspiration at:
- Food on Friday at Ann Kroeker’s
- Amy’s Finer Things Friday
- Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum
- The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap
Serves: serves 4 as a side or 2 as an entree
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into ¼ x 1 inch sticks
- 1 medium yellow squash, cut into ¼ x 1 inch sticks
- 3 cups chicken stock
- ½ large red onion, diced
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅔ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- fresh ground pepper
- kosher salt
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat in a large saute pan. Add carrots and saute for several minutes until they’re just beginning to get soft. Add zucchini and squash, saute for several more minutes until all vegetables are soft, but still have their shape. Place in a bowl.
- Place chicken stock in a small sauce pan and heat to a simmer. Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the same saute pan over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent and tender, about 6 – 8 minutes. Add quinoa and stir to coat with butter. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 1 teaspoon salt and chicken stock ½ cup at a time, stirring while chicken stock is absorbed. After 3 additions, add one cup of chicken stock, cover and cook. Check and add additional chicken stock if needed. Once quinoa is cooked and liquid is absorbed, stir in vegetables and Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper as needed.