Quinoa is my latest obsession – it’s a delicious grain-like seed with a slightly nutty flavor and satisfying, crunchy texture. It’s also ideal for vegetarians since quinoa is high in protein compared to other grains.
Quinoa can be used to make an assortment of salads and dishes, but tonight I was craving something creamy and hearty. This recipe cooks the quinoa in vegetable broth instead of water, which adds creaminess without adding many calories or any fat. The cream cheese and parmesan together make this a satisfying quinoa alternative to fettucine alfredo.
Creamy Quinoa Primavera
Makes 3-4 servings
1 cup pre-washed quinoa (if it’s not pre-washed, rinse it before use)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
3 caprese tomatoes (seeded)
half head of broccoli
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese
1: Clean vegetables and chop into bite-size pieces.
2a: Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 12 minutes, or until nearly all of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir periodically.
2b: While the quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in medium frying pan.
3: When oil is hot, add garlic, broccoli and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender (about 10 minutes). The vegetables will be a more vibrant color than when you first added them, and the garlic will be fragrant.
4: Add tomatoes to vegetable combo. Cook another 4 minutes.
5: When quinoa is done, add cream cheese and parmesan. Melt using a low flame and stirring constantly, until your quinoa looks like this:
6: Now, combine quinoa and vegetable mixtures.
**Adding some extra parmesan on top can only make it more delicious**