Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quinoa?? Justine

Animal, mineral or vegetable? Actually quinoa is a seed (think protein-rich) related to leafy green vegetables like spinach or swiss chard but you can use it in recipes like you would rice or couscous.

The first time I tried to feed the Phoebster quinoa for dinner she gagged and asked if it was bee eggs. Blech. Now none of us want to eat it. However, the Costco bag hanging around my kitchen must be used so I persevered and found a recipe even the harshest critic couldn't complain about - Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole. The second recipe below is for Quinoa, Corn and Spinach Chowder. Joel and I liked it. Malia tried it and Phoebe wouldn't touch it. So there you go.

Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole (I'm not sure where the original recipe is from to give credit where credit is due.)

1-10 oz can condensed light, Broccoli Cheese Soup

1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc)

1/2 teaspoon sugar or 1 packet of splenda

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups cooked broccoli

1 1/2 cups COOKED quinoa (see note)

Feshly grated Parmesan cheese

*To cook quinoa:

3/4 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt
*Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear. In a small saucepan combine the quinoa, water, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and the white ring/tail is visible. Fluff with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow (8×8 in or 5-6 cups) casserole dish – or individual ramekins – with vegetable cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, Splenda, & pepper, until well mixed. Stir in the quinoa and broccoli.
Spoon mixture into prepared casserole. Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins) or until bubbly on the edges and golden. Makes 8 generous 1/2-cup servings.

Quinoa, Corn and Spinach Chowder (from cookbook "Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen")

Makes about 2 quarts

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly under running water
2 ears corn, shucked (I used frozen, worked fine)
2 tbs olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 jalepeno chile, seeded and finely diced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/4 pound feta cheese, cut into small cubes (I used Gorgonzola yum)
1 bunch of spinach, stems removed and leaves wahsed
3 scallions thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and diced, optional

  1. Simmer the quinoa in 7 cups boiling water for 10 mins. Drain the quinoa but reserve the liquid.
  2. Heat the oil in 3 quart saucepan the garlic and chile, cook for about 30 seconds over med. heat, then add the cumin, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the potatoes. Measure 6 cups of the quinoa cooking water and add it to the pot. Bring to a boil, then add the quinoa and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender about 15 mins. Add the corn.
  3. Turn off the heat, add the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Sitr in the spinach and scallions. As soon as the spinach is wilted, after to 2-3 minutes, serve the soup, garnished with the cilantro and the hard-boiled egg if you are using it.


Jessica said...

bees eggs....ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

Anonymous said...

mm sounds good
lol bees aggs

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, we tryed the first receipe and we loved it too!! It's from cooking light magazine, just so u know :-)

Ruthie said...

Bummer we would of taken it off of your hands, we love Quinoa!! Well Joe and I do. Jude use to eat it and now that Jett won't so much, he pushes it around on his plate a little more. But it is so good I'm sure they will come around. I will email you a couple of recipes that we love with it. One of which is one of my "GO To" dinners.

Anonymous said...

Yes, bees eggs is too cute! Kids' come up with the best descriptions of things! I too have had a bag of quinoa hanging around my kitchen for months now. My husband turns his nose up at even the suggestion...but since he did the same with brown rice years ago I'm sure he'll come around. Thanks for the recipes.

Annalee said...

I agree with phoebe, I think its so odd! Great description girly. I also have the taste buds of a six year old so that probably explains my aversion:)