Vegetable Quinoa

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Up until a few weeks ago, I had never even had quinoa. I heard plenty about it and its superfood properties, but no one had ever made it for me, and I'd never seen it anywhere. But over the past few months I have pinned and/or bookmarked a few quinoa recipes, so I decided one day that enough was enough. It was time to see what all the fuss was about.

I freaking love quinoa, you guys. This is the only way I've prepared it so far, but I've made it three times in the last month--with leftovers, to boot. And guess what? Nora has been known to devour it, too.

This recipe is easily adaptable, as you can take out or substitute in any vegetables that you like. We've been using combinations of black beans, carrots, celery, zucchini, onions, corn, and diced tomatoes. You could also use red or green peppers, mushrooms, etc. The possibilities are endless.

So good. So wholesome. So healthy. I'm on the lookout for other good quinoa recipes, so please send them my way (leave them in the comments?) if you have any. I'm obsessed!

Vegetable Quinoa
(Source: Adapted from


- 2 cups quinoa
- 4 cups water (or vegetable broth or chicken broth)
- olive oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (16 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (16 oz.) can corn, drained
- 1 (16 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 small to medium zucchini, sliced
- 2-3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- juice from 1 lime

1. Rinse your quinoa using a fine mesh sieve. Some people will tell you it's not necessary--and you don't HAVE to rinse--but our quinoa had a slightly bitter taste the one time I tried not rinsing it. When rinsed, the quinoa will initially foam up as if it is soapy, and the water will eventually run clear.

2. Combine quinoa with water in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender. Follow the directions on your package, but mine says to let it simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat up a sautee pan over medium heat. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic to the pan and cook until the garlic softens and the aroma mellows, about 2 minutes. Add the fresh vegetables and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes, and corn. Season with cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute more. Reduce heat. Once quinoa has finished cooking, stir it in. Squeeze the juice of a lime over the top of everything. Stir again.

4. Serve hot or cold.


kressley August 7, 2012 at 10:06 PM  

this is one of my favorite recipes: i wouldn't call it an exact substitute for regular mac and cheese, but it is really good. It also freezes really well.

nikinikinine August 7, 2012 at 10:11 PM  

A good one for breakfast:

And a good one for lunch:

All of the ones from that Cooking Light article are yummy, but the cilantro, avocado, tomato one is my favorite.

We love quinoa here too. My next "try this" grain is farro. I keep hearing about it, but haven't tried it yet!

Anonymous,  August 8, 2012 at 12:02 PM  

Quinoa burgers are fantastic!! There are many recipes out there. We top ours with avocado, tomato, and cheese and then put them on a nice thin roll, so good! I almost like them more than actual hamburgers, almost!!!

Natalie August 8, 2012 at 2:46 PM  

Oooh I love quinoa too!

My ALL TIME FAVORITE way to eat quinoa is this quinoa fried rice:

Also love this salad
It's great in soups & chili (

You can even put it in cookies!

Sorry for the link overload, I got excited :)

Leanne August 8, 2012 at 3:15 PM  

We love quinoa also! I love quinoa mac and cheese. We add steamed broccoli and it's delicious. I like the idea of quinoa fried rice! I make a lot of quinoa with black beans and salsa for lunches. Delicious!

Kristin August 8, 2012 at 3:37 PM  

This is my favorite recipe by far:

Serena in Manhattan August 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM  

Check out my video on how to cook quinoa. I hope you enjoy it

To Those Who Wait August 10, 2012 at 5:19 PM  

I'm not sure if you have Trader Joe's in your area, but on their box of Quinoa they have the most delicious recipe for chicken and bell peppers with quinoa. We tried it as our "intro" to quinoa so to speak and have been hooked ever since. It's really good and quick and easy.

Anonymous,  August 10, 2012 at 10:35 PM  

Roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes and feta MMMMMMMMM

Colleen @ Mommy Panda August 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM  

Where did you buy it? I can't find it anywhere!

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