I love this recipe because it’s full of vegetables. It started life as a favorite pasta recipe from Robin Robertson’s 366 Simply Delicious Dairy-Free Recipes. I’ve kept her technique of adding soy milk to the sauce, but in addition to substituting the very healthy quinoa for pasta, I’ve increased the amount of eggplant and herbs used and added some chickpeas. It’s still a very mild-tasting dish, but that’s perfect for letting the flavors of the veggies shine.
The directions below are for cooking the quinoa in a pressure cooker, but if you don’t have one, you can use a stove-top method. Just use 3 cups of water to cook the quinoa in a covered saucepan for about 15 minutes, or until it’s tender and shows little white “tails.”
Farmers’ Market Quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 3/4 tsp. salt (omit for low-sodium)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 medium yellow squash or zucchini — cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 4 cloves garlic — minced
- 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen fire-roasted)
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 cup minced fresh basil — or 2 tablespoons dried basil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- soy parmesan (optional)
- Rinse the quinoa well by placing it in a fine-mesh strainer and stirring it under running water for at least 2 minutes. This removes the coating of saponin (a natural insecticide) that can give quinoa a bitter taste.
- Bring the water to boil in the pressure cooker and then add the quinoa and next three ingredients (garlic, oregano, and salt). Lock the lid in place, and bring to high pressure. Cook for one minute at high pressure; then remove from the heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally while you prepare the vegetables.
- (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, use 3 cups water and simmer in a covered pot on the stove for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.)
- Heat a large, covered Dutch oven over medium heat, add the onion, and cook for 5 minutes or until beginning to brown (add water by the tablespoon if necessary to keep onion from sticking). Add the eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, and garlic along with 2 tablespoons water and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently but keeping it covered between stirrings. Add the tomatoes to the pan with their liquid, along with the chickpeas.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and continue to cook 5 more minutes. Slowly stir in the non-dairy milk. Blend well and season with oregano, basil, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cooked quinoa to the vegetables and mix together thoroughly. Sprinkle with the soy parmesan, if desired. Serve immediately.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Nutrition (per serving): 282 calories, 36 calories from fat, 4.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 463.9mg sodium, 835.7mg potassium, 51.5g carbohydrates, 10.6g fiber, 9.4g sugar, 12.1g protein, 8 points.
Kid-Friendly Alert: This one earns a gold star for getting E. to eat eggplants and squash, two veggies she claims to hate. And she went back for seconds! Woohoo!