Tag Archives: quinoa

Shark Under Water

Quinoa with Acorn Squash

Another new seasonal vegetable!  Acorn squash was once of the seasonal squashes I had always seen at the market, but since it’s normally right next to the butternut squash I would skip over it.  This time I went straight for it and grabbed a large white squash.  Typically I got for the mid-range options but since I had two recipes to try I knew I would need a bigger than normal baby.  Once I got home I split it down the middle, wrapping half and placing in the fridge for later in the week.  The other half was seeded, reserving the seeds for a tasty late-night snack as well as a topping for the quinoa.  I had debated how to cook the squash, before deciding to saute this half and bake the second half so that I could try out the two most popular methods.   The “base recipe” is one I have used many, many, many times with other gourds that way I could get a good comparison between the acorn squash and those I have had in the past.

Acorn Squash with Quinoa

Serves 3-4


3 tbsp EVOO

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 1/2 lb acorn squash, cubed

1 1/2 cups quinoa, well washed

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup water

greek yogurt (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the spices, stir and cook for 30seconds before adding the garlic and onion. Cook for 5minutes before adding the squash and cook for an additional 7-10 minutes. The squash should be tender with glossy flesh.
  2. Add the quino, vegetable stock, and water then turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir, cover, and turn heat to low. Allow to simmer for 20minutes then fluff the quinoa and Serve! I topped mine with greek yogurt but sour cream or nothing would also work.

I wasn’t impressed with how well the squash didn’t stand up to the recipe, but the taste was still amazing which is what really matters.  At the last moment I decided to top it with some Greek Yogurt, just to see what it would do and I really enjoyed the creaminess it added to the dish.  As a bonus there is also a coupon on the linked website, so great excuse to give it a try if you haven’t! (btw this company has no idea who I am, just noticed the coupon offer when I went to find a link to the brand I used)

For the seeds after making sure they were dry and clean, I coated them in olive oil and tossed them in a mixture of paprika, cayenne powder, and salt and then sauted them in EVOO.  I cooked them until they were a nice golden brown shade, stirring frequently to prevent popping and burning.


Quinoa with Tomato and Thyme

The end of summer is approaching, and with it the end of tomato season.  Until then I’ll be doing as many tomato recipes as possible in order to get the most use possible out of my tomatoes.  I can tell that the cherry tomato plants are going to stop producing well before the full size ones, and that’s okay.  I’m also hopeful that I might get one or two more eggplants, but I know that as temperatures drop it will be less and less likely.  I will definitely be doing more of the cherry tomatoes next year, but I think I’m going to try a different type of full size tomatoes.  This year I went with an heirloom tomato, which I normally prefer, but I might try a hybrid next year since I think my issue is with the amount of sunlight my garden gets.  The other option is just do cherry or grape size tomatoes, which isn’t a bad option except missing out on Fried Green Tomatoes and Stuff Tomatoes.  Good thing I have a few months to figure out my game plan for next year.

This recipe took care of a fair are of a fair amount of cherry tomatoes, as well as the last of my onions from the family farm.  I was inspired by the recipe of the same name from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook.  I made changes to the ingredients, ratios, and everything else but like her recipe this features quinoa, tomatoes, and thyme.

Quinoa with Tomato and Thyme

Serves: 3-4 servings


2 tbsp EVOO

1 small cooking onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp fresh thyme

1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable stock


  1. Heat the EVOO in a large medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the thyme and toss well in the EVOO, cook for one minute.
  2. Add the tomatoes cook for 3-5 minutes, then add the quinoa and vegetable stock. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil before covering and turning heat to low.
  3. Simmer for 15-20minutes, then remove from heat and allow to sit for a final 5minutes. Fluff the quinoa and serve!

While I used cherry tomatoes for this recipe, regular tomatoes could be used or even canned diced tomatoes during the off season.  The main key is just making sure the quinoa has the right amount of liquid, so if you are using diced tomatoes reduce the vegetable stock by 2tbsp in order to keep the quinoa from getting mushy.  When I had the leftovers for lunch the next day I added a tbsp of greek yogurt in order to add some moisture back to the dish, and it was amazing!  I have a feeling I’ll be adding that everytime I make this dish in the future.

Rain Makes Corn

Quinoa with Corn & Potatoes

Temperatures are starting to creep back up, but the lack of sun is seriously stunting my garden.  Luckily Joe’s mom gave us a bag of fresh from the farm goodies, so I am still on track with my goal of eating locally.  I also swung by the local market to find some seasonal corn, something that has been harder than normal this summer.  While my small area of Virginia has had a fairly average summer rainwise, that is certainly not the case for the rest of the country.  Since I’ve been relying on my garden I wasn’t fully aware how bad things were even after reading numerous reports and seeing the depressing photos.  Finding corn that was full proved impossible, even though they were shorter than normal most of them had kernels only 3/4 of the way up with the last quarter looking dried out.  This time last year corn was EVERYWHERE, and the cobs were large and fat and filled to the brim with fat and juicy kernels.  I can only imagine what prices are going to look like this winter, and how creative people will have to get with making their budgets work.

For a fair amount of time I considered skipping the /52week corn challenge since I’m really trying to avoid frozen/canned vegetables this year but eventually I was able to get enough local corn to give it a go.  I debated a number of recipes before deciding to do something involving quinoa and some of the vegetables we got in our goody bag.

Rain Makes Corn


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 vidalia onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 butter potato, cubed

1 sweet potato, cubed

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 cup corn off the cob

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp cayenne pepper powder

1/2 tbsp chili powder


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, and both potatoes and cook for 7-10minutes, potatoes should still be firm but onion and garlic should be starting to brown.
  2. Add the tomatoes, corn, quinoa, and spices. Stir well to make sure everything is well combined before adding the vegetable stock. Bring to a quick boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for 17-20minutes.
  3. Quinoa is done when the grains have opened up but are still slightly al dente. Serve warm!

This dish was incredibly easy to prepare, nothing like one pot dinners!  I added some sour cream to the leftovers in order to insure that everything stayed moist and lunch the next day turned out perfectly.  This dish would also serve as a great burrito stuffing, just add some fresh avocado and ready to go!

Looking Under

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!

Is really Asparagus

Quinoa Vegetable Curry

So still no A/C but thankfully the temperature has dropped back below 80 so it’s actually not that bad inside today. However I don’t want to push my luck so hopefully that glorious coil will arrive sooner rather then later that way when the temperature decides to go all triple digit on me again I’ll be good to go.

However did get some good news last night, I’m going to see CATS!!! A commercial for a performance at WolfTrap came on last night while watching Glee (the most awesome show EVER!). Next thing I know Joe is asking me what night I prefer and ordering us tickets to go see CATS!!! I have wanted to see this since I was very little and when it left Broadway many moons ago I thought that was it. I had some hope when they did the revival of Les Mis but alas no indicator that CATS was coming back. While this is not Broadway, WolfTrap is still amazing and it’s actually where I was able to see Les Mis a few years ago. Hopefully at this point at least someone has figured out my title and thus realized I’m not completely insane.
Now on to last night’s AMAZING dinner. Up until a few months ago I had never heard of quinoa but since then I have been making it on a regular basis because it’s absolutly amazing! Last night I decided to curry it (something Joe had sort of done before thanks to the Amazing SusanV of FatFreeVegan) and add a ton of vegetables to make a Quinoa Vegetable Curry. The best part is that this recipe is super easy!
1 cup Quinoa
1 cup Green Beans, cut into 3in lengths
1tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp Curry Powder
1 large Onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups Cauliflower floret
3 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 in rings
8oz firm tofu, cubed
1 cup vegetable broth
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan and add the Quinoa. Quickly bring the water back to a boil and then turn to low and simmer for 5minutes.
2. Add the Green Beans to the Quinoa and stir, cook for an additional 5 minutes. The Green Beans should be tender and the quinoa should be tender but still a little crunchy.
3. While the Quinoa is cooking add oil to a large Dutch Oven or Wok; and heat over medium heat. Add curry and cook for 30seconds stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3minutes. Add cauliflower, carrots, and tofu. Cook for 3minutes stirring frequently.
4. Turn heat to medium high and add the vegetable broth. Bring to a slow boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
5. Fold in the Quinoa, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve Hot!
This is probably one of the easiest dishes I have made in awhile and it was also very well received. According to Joe everything I make is great but that this is “really great.” Gotta love a compliment like that!