After getting a flat tire, the result of peeling out into traffic on a cold, windy, monsoonishly rainy day (okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, it wasn’t that cold), having no operable cell phone (meant to replace that about a month ago) and which meant driving a few wobbly miles home, what I needed was something I could put together for dinner that was nutritious, quick and tasty.  That turned out to be an easy decision.  With quinoa in the fridge and plenty of vegetables on hand our supper practically made itself.
Normally,  I use chili peppers in this recipe but didn’t have any on hand. The extra hot chili powder, (purchased at a local Indian grocery store) worked very well as a substitute.  We have varying spice tolerance in our family so adjust according to your liking.  I used 1/2 tsp of powder which produced a mild level of spice.  The same holds true for the chili peppers. Good as a side or main dish, this recipe yields 6-8 servings.

2 cups quinoa, soaked and rinsed
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium or 2 small zucchini
1 small head of broccoli
8 oz’s mushrooms (I used portabella)
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 – 1 tsp extra hot chili powder (or 2-4 chili peppers)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp sea salt
dash cracked pepper
1 (32 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water

In a large skillet, add enough water to cover bottom and sweat diced onions and garlic, approximately 5 minutes on medium heat.  Add vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add spices and quinoa that has been soaked and rinsed.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add can of crushed tomatoes and 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and cook on low for 20-30 minutes, covered. Quinoa should be soft, not crunchy. Add a little water if more cooking time is needed.

I’m taking a survey, would you be willing to substitute quinoa in place of rice in your recipes?  Send a comment..I’ll let you know the results in a near future post!