Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Creamy Quinoa Primavera

Today I bring you a lovely, creamy, versatile primavera. You could make this with endless combinations of ingredients depending on what you like and what you have on hand. I love the protein and nuttiness of the quinoa, but you could easily make this with pasta or some other whole grain like farro. If vegetarian eating isn't your thing, you could add in some chicken, shrimp, or bacon.

For the veggies, I used mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, and spinach. The blog I got this from used carrot, celery, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and peas; and the original Betty Crocker recipe suggests asparagus, broccoli, carrot, or zucchini. The moral of the story: use whatever vegetables you feel like using.

This dish was tasty and filling. It was a nice amount of creaminess--just enough to feel a bit like a splurge, but still light enough to not feel heavy and artery-clogging. You could certainly adjust the amount of cream cheese and Parmesan to suit your preferences.

Creamy Quinoa Primavera

Printer friendly; adapted from Elly Says Opa
Yield: 3-4 servings

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
1/2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 onion
2/3 to 3/4 of an 8 oz. carton mushrooms, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 to 2 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 small roma tomato, chopped
1 handful baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1-2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook until juices have been released and veggies are slightly tender. If using any crisp veggies like carrots or broccoli, add now and saute for another 1-2 minutes until crisp-tender.

Stir in garlic and quinoa and cook, stirring, for 1 more minute. Add the broth and basil (if using dried) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes, until quinoa is cooked and broth is almost all absorbed.

Stir in the cream cheese, until mixed throughout. Add the tomatoes and spinach, stirring to warm through and allow the spinach to wilt. Add basil (if using fresh) and Parmesan, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with additional cheese and/or basil, if desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment