Oh my good grief. I don't know how I ever lived without it. The "weird little grain" (as my mom likes to call it) has become one of my go-tos. Especially when I'm cooking for myself! Which has been happening a little more often than I like for it to... but as I'm moving out in less than a month then I suppose I better get used to it.
When my mom went to Paris, I was 1) dog-sitting, and 2) my dad and brother know how to cook burgers and steak, that's about it-- neither of which I'm a huge fan of-- so I had to fend for myself basically. I've been trying to lay off the red meat lately since it makes me feel so slow and sluggish, and as an alternate source of protein I thought I'd give quinoa a try.
Best decision I ever made. I've whipped up three equally tasty quinoa meals since the first one I made (which pathetically took me two hours...), and I'm so in love with all of them I couldn't not share them with you!
Lemon-Garlic Herb Shrimp & Veggies over Quinoa
The first meal I attempted to make was probably a little presumptuous as I severely overestimated my cooking skills. But after two long hours of slaving in the kitchen, and cursing having to mince garlic (note: I had no idea whatsoever that there was garlic that already came minced...), my lemon-garlic shrimp over quinoa and veggies was a hit! I'm not sure if it was worth two hours of work of my time, but I've tried my hand at it twice since my first attempt and both times it's taken the suggested 35-40 minutes to make.
Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake
I am a huge, huge, huge fan of Mexican food. Thanks to my healthy kick I missed out on Cinco de Mayo this year at Moe's (UGH), but now anytime I'm having a quesadilla or enchilada craving, this enchilada bake is my go-to. It tastes so good and you can have it with sour cream and salsa as well. It took all my willpower to not stick a few tortilla chips on the side, but it's filling enough as a meal on it's own. I skipped the jalapeño as I'm not a huge fan, and hate when things are too spicy. But if you like it, go for it!
Southwest Quinoa Cakes
Again, with the Mexican/Southwest cravings. Can you tell I get them often? These quinoa cakes were the last recipe I tried before finals started, and the best thing is I made a batch of eleven (a serving is 2 cakes for 365 calories), so I ended up freezing the leftovers and actually just heated some up for dinner the other night! Still just as good. I added corn into this recipe because I love corn... I think I did a cup... and served it with salsa and sour cream to taste! I also made some sautéed asparagus to go with the cakes and saved the leftovers from that to go with eggs in the morning. Delicious!
If you've got some time this weekend, I highly encourage any of these recipes!
Photos & recipes*