I’m sure that by now, you’ve seen and heard and possibly even TRIED this newfangled thing called “Quinoa.” It’s all the rage with everyone trying to get away from wheat and wheat products, and are looking for a way to boost their protein with this offbeat pseudo-grain.

For those of you who have not had a chance to try quinoa, it really IS worth a shot. It’s got a little bit of a nutty flavor to it and it can be used as either a savory side (my fave) or it can be cooked plainly and used as an oatmeal replacement for breakfast. Quinoa comes in the standard seed or pseudo-grain form, in flake form, and not too long ago, I discovered it in flour form. Definitely, this little seed is catching on. At first, you’d only see the white quinoa, but more and more, I’m seeing red and black quinoa as well. You can buy it in packages or in your bulk food section. The possibilities are endless!

… But what do you do with it?

Well, most people cook it like white rice. The package instructions are very simple: boil water, add quinoa, add some salt, bring down to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Bland but good for you, if you ask me. I took to replacing the water with veggie, beef, and chicken broth (depending on my mood) early on, but today I thought… there just HAS to be another way of using this nifty little ingredient!

And so I present today’s experiment success: Veggie Quinoa
Veggie Quinoa
I began by raiding my refrigerator to see what I had on hand. I dug out a small onion, a carton of tomatoes, a couple of small jalapenos, a small bell pepper and some garlic chives. With the exception of the tiny jalapenos (courtesy of my father in law), the veggies came from our local CSA share.

When I finished chopping the tomatoes and garlic chives, I put them in the pot as well (by then the onions had caramelized a bit) and cooked the veggies for a few minutes until I felt the flavors started to come together.
At that point, it was time to add the quinoa. The kind my hubby bought was a three color blend. They all pretty much cook the same, but I do have to say I love the colors! I added a cup of the dry quinoa and two cups of broth.

This cooks pretty quickly. Once the water boiled, I covered it up, turned it down to a simmer, then let it cook for about 20 minutes. This came out a little more juicy than usual because of all the veggies I added. I liked it this way, but now I know to add a little less water when I’m going to cook with veggies in my quinoa >^.^<

Bon Appetit!
My husband was really a big fan of this one (and went back for seconds and thirds!)
Here, I have the quinoa as a side to my Simple Salmon recipe >^.^<
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