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Spanish Quinoa

I’ve been experimenting lately with some of the cookbooks I got over the past holiday season.  I had already flagged the recipes I wanted to try and have s-l-o-w-l-y checking some of them off the list.  Last week I had planned to give the Paella recipe from Plenty and thought I had all of the ingredients.  Apart halfway thru the cutting prep work I realized that was not the case.  I was out of short-grain rice, saffron (boo),  and cooking sherry…not so good.  So I opened the pantry to check for what I did have: dry red wine, quinoa, and lots of chopped vegetables.  For a moment I thought about chickening out and just doing a stir fry but figured why not give it a go?  Worst case scenario: Chinese Take Out.  Best case scenario: awesome new recipe.  I decided to take the plunge and started tossing things in, tasting along the way, until I came up with this delicious new dinner idea.

Spanish Quinoa

Serves: 4


3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

2 green peppers, roughly chopped

1 zucchini, sliced in narrow rounds

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp chipotles in adobo sauce

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

12 oz quinoa

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup black beans, rinsed and pre-soaked

3 roma tomatoes, diced


  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large (12in) deep (4in) saute pan that has a lid. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and cooking an additional 2 minutes before adding the peppers and zucchini and cooking for an additional 6 minutes. The onion and garlic should be golden while the peppers and zucchini are nice and soft.
  2. Add the bay leaves, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne to the vegetables and stir well. Add the quinoa, toss well with the vegetables and then add the red wine and vegetable stock. Bring to a quick boil before reducing heat to a simmer and covering. Cook for 20minutes, do not remove the lid! Add the black beans and cook over low heat for 3minutes, until beans are warm.
  3. Right before serving top with the tomatoes. Enjoy!

Sometimes experimenting can go horribly wrong but sometimes accidental experiments can turn out very tasty.  The next day I added some sour cream to the dish, which wound up being the perfect addition since quinoa tends to dry up quickly.

So far all of the actual recipes from this book have worked out wonderfully, with only small seasoning tweaks needed.  If anyone is in search of a great vegetarian cookbook I give this one a big thumbs up.   Quick disclaimer: I am getting nothing for the above endorsement I just really enjoy this cookbook.  I’m also hoping to give them a try when Joey and I are on our honeymoon but we shall see if that works out!