Green Goddess Quinoa Recipe

My husband will not tolerate quinoa. The very utterance of its name sends him running from the room. I, being very delicate and dedicated to my waistline, adore everything about the tiny, trendy grain. I like to pronounce it: keen-wah. I like how it pops in your mouth. I like to mix it up with savory vegetables. I like how virtuous it makes me feel after a sausage-egg-and-cheese sandwich for breakfast. And you know how into pesto and all things food processorized I am right now. So it’s no surprise that when I came across the 101 Cookbooks recipe for double broccoli quinoa I was all about making it. Immediately!

Because I am a lazy cook, as well as a girl who demands instant gratification, I went to the kitchen to see if I had what it takes to cook this pot of wholesome greenness. Looking over her list of ingredients I had the necessary: broccoli, quinoa, olive oil but was missing a few key elements, i.e., dairy products. So, I adapted. I adapted and adopted the recipe as she has written it and I think what I came up with is pretty lovin’ delicious. We’ve got a fairly well-stocked pantry now, which helps you through afternoons when you work from home and want to snack and fiddle in the kitchen.

Here’s how I did it:

Ingredients

  • florets of 2 broccoli heads
  • 1 cup quinoa (already rinsed)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • handful of walnuts (my new bandname)
  • Campo de Montalban cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

I cooked the cup of quinoa in one cup boxed broth and one cup water, because that’s all I had. Meanwhile, I boiled the broccoli for two minutes, drained and rinsed it in the colander with cold water. In the food processor I combined garlic, walnuts, Campo de Montalban cheese (made from a mixture of cow, sheep and goat milk), and half the cooked broccoli. I added the olive oil while I whirred. I tasted and added salt and pepper, which I initially forgot. The original recipe call for half and half, which I omitted ’cause again, I don’t have any on hand, and fresh lemon juice, which I plum forgot, but plan to squeeze on when I serve. Hers had Parmesan, but I think this nutty hard cheese worked well and almonds but walnuts seem a more than acceptable substitute. She also made her own chili oil by infusing olive oil with red pepper flakes, but remember, I am half fast and lazy, so I will just garnish with a few flakes later when I eat it after dance class. The result is an intense pesto that I combined with some of the quinoa and topped with a few reserved florets. It’s oh so green, garlicky and gorgeous. My husband may disagree, but I think quinoa can save the world.

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.

9 Comments

    1. PS: if by “Mexican voodoo” you mean an overwhelming urge–nay, NEED–to eat green, healthy and fresh after an almost total deprivation of non-lard infused foods, and a dearth of things like ancient grains, then yes. We have a shared Mexican voodoo.

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  1. interesting. I had my leftovers with spinach and lemon/garlic/rosemary/sage roasted chicken and it was also awesome. now I have to go mandoline something. Who knew cochinita pibil and fried panela isn’t a necessary component of a healthy diet?!

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  2. Fun things i have mandolined the crap out of in the last 24 hours: zucchinis, cucumbers, and radishes. ZOOOOM. Sliced! In mere seconds! It’s awe-inspiring. The stuff infomercials are made of.

    Forget the cochinita pibil and fried panela: when I took that tamale-making class, I was shocked to discover that even the TOMATO SAUCE that goes on top of the tamales had a quart of lard.

    (Ergo: It’s not my fault I got fat! [much] But thanks to Heidi and Jillian Michaels, that’s all changing).

    Anyway, your chicken sounds delish! Buen provecho…

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  3. I found a little 12 oz box of Quinoa at the Pacsadeli the other day, and remembering this recipe, I tossed it in with my other goodies. When I got home and perused the receipt, those 12oz cost me 87 pesos! But, I am on my way now, well, I will be once I grab some fresh brocoli and pick a little gold nugget of hard cheese tomorrow. Down here you know this is quite the exotic event.

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