Recipe: Quinoa Greens

Quinoa Greens is one of my favorite recipes. It’s tasty. It’s healthy. It’s simple to cook, and it’s easy to modify.

If you’re not a quinoa fan yet, you should be. It’s got more protein, fiber, and other nutrients than rice. Moreover, I think it goes way better with vegetables than does rice. Quinoa Greens is basically just sautéed vegetables over quinoa, and I’d argue it’s a winning combination. It’s delicious, especially when you use plenty of garlic and onion.

It’s also vegan and super healthy. It’s a meal that centers yummy vegetables alongside a protien-packed whole grain. Eating Quinoa Greens always makes my body feel so good.

Lastly, it’s simple and easy to cook. This is not a recipe that you’ll need to reference as you’re cooking, and it usually only takes about 20 minutes to prepare. It’s also easy to modify according to your tastes or how busy you are, which means you can cook this recipe a lot and it won’t feel old. I’ve made Quinoa Greens using fresh vegetables, pre-cut refrigerated veggies, and even frozen veggies.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of dry uncooked quinoa
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cube of vegetarian bouillon (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Minced garlic
  • Diced onion
  • Kale (optional)
  • Your choice of vegetables. Favorites include:
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Sliced carrots or julienne carrots
  • Cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or black beans (optional)

Instructions

  1. Quinoa:
    • Fill a pot with two parts quinoa and one part water.
    • If you want extra flavor, add a vegetarian bouillon cube to the quinoa.
    • Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer.
    • Quinoa usually needs about 15 minutes to cook.
  2. Vegetables:
    • Cut your vegetables if they are not prepared already.
    • If you’re using broccoli, cauliflower, or sliced carrots, I recommend you steam or boil them to your taste.
  3. Sauté:
    • Add oil, minced garlic, and diced onion to your pan and put the burner on low or medium.
    • Once the oil heats up, add your Brussels sprouts and your kale (remember to remove any stems that you don’t want to eat).
    • When the quinoa is almost ready, add your steamed or boiled vegetables to the pan. If you’re using julienne carrots, add them now. Then stir.
    • Drain and rinse the beans and then mix them in.
    • Lastly, season to your taste with salt and pepper and maybe more garlic.
Delicious, healthy, simple, and easily modifiable ♡
Photo by Cameron N. Coulter

Variations

If you want to add more flavor, try adding pesto! You can mix it in with either the quinoa or the sautéed veggies.

Instead of adding beans to the mix, sometimes I throw a black bean burger on top, and then I’ll add some pesto or hummus on top of the black bean burger. If you’ve got black bean burgers around, I recommend you give this variation a try!

I’ve been meaning to try variations on this recipe with other grains, but I have yet to get a chance. I am rather curious about this would taste with other grains, as I find the difference between the use of quinoa and rice in this dish notable. Give another grain a whirl, and let us know how you like it!

Featured image by Danae Stahlnecker

About Cam N. Coulter

Cam N. Coulter thinks incessantly about speculative fiction, gender, and intentional communities. His poetry has appeared in Eternal Haunted Summer and Eye to the Telescope. His academic nonfiction has appeared in the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Journal. He reviews short genre fiction for Skiffy and Fanty and also contributes to The Ruined Report. After his year in JVC, Cam spent two years as a live-in assistant at L'Arche Heartland and one year in China through the Maryknoll China Teachers Program. He currently works with adults with developmental disabilities in the SF Bay Area. Cam can be found on his website or on Twitter @camncoulter.