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Nourishing Quinoa

I do a dozen of versions of this dish, changing up the vegetables, spices, and whole grain to suit my mood and the season. In any guise, it’s fresh vegetably, whole grainy, madly nutritious, high in protein and fiber, quick and easy, rich in flavor, delish now, reheating like a dream later. The leftover bit is another plus at present, when cooking, normally my pleasure and passion, can seem a Herculean task.


  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth divided use
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 4 ounces mushrooms sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast optional but adds nice cheesy flavor and vitamin B-12, crucial even if you don’t have mono
  • a dozen or so grape tomatoes
  • a handful cilantro chopped


  • Rinse quinoa to rid it of saponins, a natural but bitter protective coating.
  • In a medium-size saucepan, bring 1-1/2 cups water or broth to boil over high heat. Add quinoa, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, or until quinoa has expanded and absorbed all liquid. Allow to cool. Take a nap if you’re able to.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, carrot and garlic. Saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add celery and mushrooms and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  • Add cumin, turmeric and optional nutritional yeast, stirring gently until vegetables are coasted with spices and mixture is fragrant.
  • Fluff cooked quinoa so it’s airy and free of clumps. Add quinoa and, if neded, some or all of the remaining half-cup of water or broth to moisten.
  • Toss in tomatoes and chopped cilantro. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.