Today's post makes a very satisfying make ahead lunch for the woman on the go. It is not only quick to fix but it has a full flavored comfort food taste and calls for ingredients that most people already have in their pantries. I love recipes like that.
ITALIAN QUINOA LUNCH
1 cup of RED quinoa (well rinsed and drained)
1 14.5 ounce can of small-diced tomatoes
1 cup beef broth (not bullion)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil (any vegetable oil will work)
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon salt (leave out if you use beef bullion)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dry basil leaves
1 teaspoon dry oregano leaves
2.5 ounce sliced black olives
NOTE: I use RED QUINOA in this recipe ONLY because it looks more Italian than if I used the ivory colored quinoa. To me they taste the same, but color does make a difference in the overall LOOK of the food.
NOTE: Make sure you rinse the quinoa for a minute or so under running water. If you use pre-rinsed quinoa, you can skip this step, but if you buy it in bulk or if your package of quinoa tells you to pre-rinse.........do not skip this step. Quinoa has a natural bitter coating that you will taste if you skip this step.
Sauté the chopped onion and celery in the olive oil until it becomes limp and starts to smell a little sweet. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute but don't let the garlic burn.
Add the rest of the ingredients (except the Parmesan) and mix well. Bring to a serious boil and mix again. Immediately turn the heat down to a nice SLOW SIMMER and put a tight fitting lid on the pan.
Let this mixture cook slowly (without lifting the lid) for 15-20 minutes. You will know the quinoa is cooked when you can see the opaque/white little sprout appear on each quinoa seed.
Turn the heat off and let it "sit" for five minutes. This step is optional, but I like the fluffier result that this step helps with.
Fluff with a fork and spoon into a bowl. Top with sliced cherry tomatoes and some Parmesan cheese. Delicious!! Sorry, this last photo doesn't do this recipe justice, you will just have to trust me.
One cup of this Italian Quinoa makes a fantastic and filling lunch. Great for work or for anyone with a busy day. It also freezes well in one cup containers, so you can just grab and go. I hope you try it.