In just shy of 3 months I'll be boarding a jet plane and winging my way across the country to the Caribbean. A quick visit to the Bahamas with friends has been planned for over half a year, but unfortunately my waistline is not quite bikini ready. Power walks with my husband and trips to the gym have risen in priority as has a diet with reduced carbs and increased veggies and proteins. Quinoa fits that bill.
The inside cover of my most recent cookbook find, Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood, lists a few of quinoa's amazing qualities as:
- A great source of protein
- Containing all eight essential amino acids
- Helps build muscle, promote weight loss and stabilize blood sugar
Quinoa 365, written by sisters Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, features magnificent photography along with their more than creative quinoa recipes. From Quinoa Crepes to Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (using quinoa flour) to today's Mushroom Broccoli Quisotto, the book has recipes for every meal and occasion. The authors kindly take the time to introduce readers to the benefits and mystery of the seed, giving history, health benefits, descriptions and tips in a well written introduction. With today's Quisotto hitting the spot for my healthy lunch, I'm eager to peruse and try more of the recipes in the book. I have a feeling that Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood will be well used for my summer cooking.
Mushroom Broccoli Quisotto brings a risotto-like quality to the quinoa with the addition of my ever favorite Parmesean cheese. Mushrooms lend a hearty flavor to the dish and the broccoli gives a lovely color contrast in addition to a veggie flavor boost. I couldn't resist adding a bit of extra garlic, and had my mouth watering as I was sauteeing the vegetables and cooking the quinoa.
Preparing an egg white and spinach omelette to go with the quinoa I was thrilled when the doorbell rang and a delivery man passed over a box of California Avocados from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program. Opening the box to find a handful of beautifully packed and nearly ripe avocados, I couldn't resist dicing a half that I had left over the top of my eggs. Topping the omelette with a bit of Mediterranean Feta from Trader Joe's, serving a side of grilled zucchini and a good portion of my Mushroom Broccoli Quisoto I'll be in that swim suit in no time!
Mushroom Broccoli Quisotto
adapted from Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood (printed with permission)
2 Tbs butter
2 cups chopped broccoli, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups chopped cremini or button mushrooms
1/2 cup diced white onion
1 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 cups fresh parsley
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Sauté the broccoli, mushrooms, onion and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Combine the quinoa, stock and pinch of nutmeg in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is completely tender and water is absorbed.
Add the cooked quinoa to the broccoli and mushrooms. Gently stir in the parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Note: Asparagus would be a wonderful choice as a broccoli substitute, and I fully enjoyed the diced avocado with the quinoa!
Egg White Omelette with Spinach and California Avocados
avocados provided by the California Avocados and Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp butter
2 mushrooms, chopped
small handful of spinach
1/4 avocado, diced
1-2 Tbs Feta cheese (We use Trader Joe's Mediterranean Feta)
Sauté mushrooms in butter until almost tender. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Pour egg whites into the pan and cook until nearly done. Add the spinach and mushrooms onto one side of the eggs and carefully flip. Cook the eggs about 30 seconds more and then slide out onto a plate, folding in half in the process. Or alternatively, add the spinach and mushrooms before the eggs are set and stir gently. Slide out onto plate and fold in half. Top with diced avocado and crumbled Feta Cheese.