I discovered quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) about a year ago. Turns out it’s a superfood. And, it’s tasty. You can basically use it to replace rice in just about any dish but it’s a healthier option.
I used to make Spanish Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo) all the time when my son was little – it was easy and he loved it. This is my basic recipe, but replacing the rice with quinoa. Also, I usually cut this recipe in half and still have leftovers for lunch the next day. Make the full recipe if you’re feeding more than 2 adults, I think.
- 2 c quinoa
- cooking oil
- medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 3/4 c veggie or chicken broth (if you aren’t adding chicken to the meal, it’s better with vegetable broth)
- 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes with sauce OR one 8 oz. can of just sauce if you’re anti-tomato chunks.
- Saffron (Real saffron is a tad expensive, but you use so little of it that it lasts a long time. Some people like to use chili powder instead, but I think saffron gives it a unique Spanish flavor.)
- Frozen Peas
- (salt, oregano are optional)
(If you’re making this with chicken, brown both sides of each chicken piece in a large skillet in some oil. Take them out when done, follow the rest of the instructions and add the chicken into the skillet to cook when you add the liquids- they’ll cook together with everything else.)
- Sauté chopped onion and garlic.
- Add quinoa and sauté for 3-4 minutes – stir continuously. Keep on medium-low heat; don’t cook this too quickly.
- Add broth, tomatoes and saffron. You only need to add a few saffron threads for flavor- maybe 10 threads if you’re making the full recipe. (Add salt, oregano or whatever else you like here as well.)
- Cover and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
- Quinoa cooks just like rice- fluff it with a fork when it’s done.
- Remove the skillet from heat, add frozen peas, replace the cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Peas will cook quickly from the heat that’s already trapped in the skillet.
Hmmm… what about adding pine nuts? That could be good…