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!
AzaharaJune 10, 2010 at 7:21 am
I totally love your Spring Green Quinoa. In fact, I’ve been cooking it once a week for 2 months now. This recipe also looks great, so I’d like to give it a try this week, for a change! Anyway, I was wondering how many it serves. Judging from the amount of quinoa (I normally measure 50g. per person), I thought it might yield 4 large dishes, but since there are also chickpeas and a lot of veggies I really don’t know.
Thanks a lot!
P.S.: Your summertime pictures are amazing. I love this time of the year. July & August are too hot here in Spain, but June is warm and nice.
SusanVJune 10, 2010 at 5:47 pm
Hi Azahara–It’s been a while since I made this, but I remember that it seemed to make a lot. I’m guessing 6 good-sized servings. I may have to make it again soon just to see.
Thanks for your kind words on the photos. I would love to visit Spain in June!
AzaharaJune 13, 2010 at 7:17 am
I HAD to leave another comment. I made this yesterday and it was a major success. Delicious! I’d been wanting to cook it for some time, but had to wait for some weeks till I could get hold of fresh basil. Now I can say it’s been worth the wait!
I love the fact that it includes a whole grain, beans, and veggies. It’s pretty filling, but still, it combines wonderfully with a slice of whole grain spelt bread and a lighter side dish.
The magic touches are given by, on the one hand, the quinoa & milk, which provide a lovely creaminess to the dish, and on the other, the fresh basil, which always makes a difference.
By the way, I had no problem measuring the servings. I intentionally cooked more than needed, and I’ll try to see how it tastes after a day or two in the fridge. Obviously not as good, but still, it always saves time to have your lunch ready on a weekday.
FrancineMarch 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm
Would this freeze well? I am the only vegan in the house…so making such large portions would be great to freeze and reheat!
Julie & MartyJuly 24, 2011 at 9:22 am
We made this a few nights ago. It was good, but not great. To me it seemed like the quinoa was too soft and wet. Not sure if we over cooked it to begin with. I never used to rinse the quinoa, it was fine without the rinsing. Now that I am rinsing it, it just seem to make the quinoa too soft. Maybe that isn’t what causes the softness, I am not sure, but it seems to come out differently now that I am rinsing it. I also feel this dish needed some zip, but I don’t know what spice I would have used for that. I went out special to find the parmesan and found a soy free raw parmesan and then forgot to use it!!
JemJuly 2, 2015 at 1:42 pm
I love your recipes. Try almost everything I see. But for the life of me I can’t imagine how you can wash & prep all these veggies and measure everything in 10 minutes. Girl……you are a SuperGirl to be able to do all that in 10 minutes! If I even attempted to cut veggies that fast, I wouldn’t have any fingers left! BTW, this is a good, healthy dish — a tad bland for me and my hubbie though. I’m thinking that some lemon might help it a bit. And what is the purpose of the soy milk? It doesn’t seem to do anything to my palate.