I’ve had this box of quinoa in my pantry for at least five months.
Trader Joe’s Organic Quinoa, to be exact.
And for the last 150 days or so, it’s sat there lazily on the shelf taunting me. Eat me! Don’t you remember I’m healthy? I’m a whole grain, vegetable and complete protein all rolled into one little grain for Everythingtarian’s sake! To that, I promptly reminded my friend quinoa that I devoted a whole post expelling its astronomically amazing nutritionals back in 2009. So please stop taking my Everythingtarian name in vain, thankyouverymuch.
Sorry I am lazy.
Sorry I’d rather eat coconut milk ice cream sundaes for dinner.
Please accept my apology.
Make-Your-Own Quinoa Bowls
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 T olive oil
3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
1 (14-oz.) can garbanzo beans
juice of 1/2 lemon (about equal to 1/8 cup lemon juice)
3/8 cup olive oil
1 t minced garlic
1/2 t dried basil leaves
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
sea salt + pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, boil quinoa and water. Once water comes to a rolling boil, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid.
Meanwhile, halve the cherry tomatoes, toss in 1/2 T olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Take out of the oven and let cool.
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, basil, crushed red pepper and salt + pepper.
To serve, fold together chopped spinach, garbanzo beans, cherry tomatoes, cooked quinoa + spicy lemon vinaigrette in a large bowl.
Makes 4 large servings or 8 side dish-size servings
But my dearest quinoa, don’t let the simplicity of this recipe make you think my apology isn’t completely whole-Everythingtarian-hearted. This recipe is merely the basis for a whole slew of customized quinoa bowl variations…
- Got an Italian craving to quell? Switch out the cherry tomatoes for sundried. Add an extra 1/2 t of dried basil to the vinaigrette. Swap lemon juice with red wine vinegar. Use cannellini beans in place of garbanzos. Bam! A taste of Roma right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
- Looking for something with Mexican flava? Use black beans in place of garbanzos. Substitute roasted red peppers for cherry tomatoes. Mix up the vinaigrette with lime juice instead of lemon, dried cilantro instead of basil and cayenne pepper instead of crushed red pepper. Fiesta in your mouth, guaranteed.
- Gone to the Greek? Keep the garbanzos. Keep the spinach. Keep the tomatoes. Add 1/3 cup sliced olives + 1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese. Omit the dried basil + crushed red pepper in the vinaigrette in place of a pinch of oregano + thyme. Don’t forget, Feta always makes it betta.
Really, this is the apology that keeps on giving.