Quinoa Primavera

Hi there! I got a request for this recipe (my obsession with summer vegetables continues), so here it is. Too bad my wife ate the leftovers!

The ingredients won’t cost you much, and here is exactly what you need:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced in thin rounds
  • ¼ cup of chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, rough ends trimmed and remaining spears cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 cup of zucchini, sliced in rounds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Splash of Marsala
  • 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano
  • Coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup of shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker or, if you don’t have one, start to prepare according to package directions. While it’s cooking away, take care of your vegetables.

Coat a large saute pan with a few rings of olive oil. Heat over medium-high and drop in the carrots, peppers and broccoli first. Saute for about five minutes before adding the asparagus. Saute for another three to five minutes.

Carefully add a splash of Marsala to the hot pan, stirring to provide all the vegetables with this delicious flavor. Then add the zucchini and a sprinkle of garlic powder.

Continue to saute over medium heat now, for up to 5 minutes more (on the stovetop your quinoa should cook in 10-15 minutes after the water boils), stirring and seasoning frequently and tasting as you go.

Spear a few pieces of the crunchier veg that you dumped in first, like the carrots and broccoli, to make sure they’re cooked to your liking.

Adjust the heat higher or lower if necessary, and add a splash more olive oil if your pan is getting dry.

Once your quinoa is just about done, throw the tomatoes into the veg pot just to heat through, and top off the mixture with the fresh oregano.

When both the quinoa and veg are done to your liking (cooked quinoa should be soft and mostly translucent), place the quinoa in a serving dish, top with the vegetable mixture, sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and crack a bit more fresh pepper on top.

Serves 2-3 (leftovers can be microwaved).

I would round out this meal with a glass of wine and some fruit. Quinoa is both a carbohydrate and a protein, so you really don’t need any meat or bread. It’s healthy, simple and delicious on its own.