I’m tired of rice, and you know, it’s probably tired of me. My go to “side” is usually quinoa. While it may not lend itself to as many things as rice, quinoa has twice the protein. Normally when I make quinoa, I just toss the quinoa, water and salt into a pot and let it boil, then reduce to a simmer (cover) until it’s ready. What I never thought to do was cook the quinoa in stock, specifically chicken stock. I’ve done this in the past with wild rice and it comes out well, I just never thought about it with quinoa. According to an article in Cooking Light, cooking it with stock brings out the flavor even more. This couldn’t have been more true.
Cooking Light had 15 different recipes with quinoa, from chili to salads, but I opted to try the quinoa with leeks and shiitake mushrooms. I often saute leeks for various dishes, but this one sounded delicious. To go with it, I opted to make Michael Ruhlman’s pan roasted whole cauliflower. For some reason, this time it came out better than before. Maybe I was just more patient, maybe it was better cauliflower, who knows. It was just soft and tender through out and crispy on the outside. This would be a nice side for this quinoa dish. Adding a pork chop or chicken breast would also add to the dish, if you didn’t want it as a main dish.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups quinoa
~3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2-3 large leeks, white portion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
Combine broth, water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in 3 tablespoons parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Remove from heat; keep warm.
Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek; sauté 6 minutes or until wilted. Add mushroom caps, bell pepper, and wine; cook 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Place 1 cup quinoa in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each with 1 1/4 cups vegetable mixture and 2 tablespoons walnuts.