Spinach and Quinoa Dinner

The first time I made this quinoa recipe, it was to be used for a stuffed bell peppers recipe.  My husband and I enjoyed the filling so much, we both agreed it was a meal on it own.  He said, "Next time, save yourself the trouble of broiling the peppers and just make the filling."  So I made it, again.

I don't care who you are, this vegetarian dinner is good all the way around. Giving the veggies a quick stir-fry over medium-high heat was the trick to making them crisp tender. I had frozen blanched spinach on hand.  It took no time at all to thaw the spinach in the microwave on low power, squeeze it dry and heat it through in the hot skillet.

The quinoa, well, I cooked it up first and had it waiting on the sidelines until the veggies were cooked.  If you don't have quinoa on hand, that's cool.  Use your favorite rice.  Just so you know, quinoa has higher nutrient levels than brown rice and it takes less time to cook.  When you come across it in the store, pick some up and give it a try.

HERE'S ALL IT TAKES

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked my way - Cooking Fluffy Quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1 cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen spinach, thawed, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Fill a large cooking pot with water to start cooking the quinoa, follow the Cooking Fluffy Quinoa recipe.  Once cooked, drain and set aside in warm bowl.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and cook carrots and onion until onion is translucent.  Add in mushrooms and chopped bell pepper, cook until pepper is tender, 5 minutes.  Add in cilantro, chopped spinach, cinnamon, and cumin.  Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Continue cooking another 6 to 8 minutes.  Remove from heat.

After the quinoa is cooked and drained, add 1 cup of the cooked quinoa to vegetable filling and toss together well.