Ever since I was gently kicked out of my parents house and sent to college to start my own life, I’ve been making some sort of grain and veggie concoction that got me through when life was getting particularly crazy and hectic. Something warm and filling always makes the stress go away. And since I’m not a big potato person and my best friend in first grade told me that if I eat too much mac and cheese I would eventually turn into mac and cheese, (um, I’m sorry… did my first grade self just get called fat?!) this dish would have to be my version of comfort food.
It all started with some pasta, a random assortment of veggies (with too much butter), a little bit of tomato sauce and A LOT of Parm. It slowly turned into some variety of whole wheat pasta, chicken, veggies, olive oil and a little bit of Parm. As I started to learn more and more about nutrition, leafy greens started to get thrown into the mix.
Now I’m down to ingredients that I’m pretty confident have the ability to turn this once carb-loaded dish into a salad. Yes, a salad. A warm quinoa salad.
I’m kind of surprised that I haven’t written anything about quinoa on this blog yet, I eat it all the time! It a wonderful gluten-free and nutrient packed alternative to pasta. Quinoa is a high protein grain, so I stopped putting chicken in my dish and started adding other veggies instead. I use garlic, onions and mushrooms to add flavor, and broccoli to give it some substance. Ideally, I also add spinach or kale, but I didn’t have either on hand when I made this. Recipe is as follows
Warm Quinoa Salad
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 stalk of broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups fresh kale or spinach
Add the quinoa and water to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. While the quinoa is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of oil olive in a pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli, onions and mushrooms to the pan and cook until tender. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes. If you have kale or spinach, add it at the same time as the garlic, just to wilt it. When the quinoa is done, add it to the pan with the veggies and stir. Serve warm.