Mushroom Quinoa

Written by chanie on May 16th, 2011

Quinoa is my new favorite superfood. It is a protein-rich seed with a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture and somewhat of a nutty flavor. Although some consider it to be a grain, it is actually a relative to spinach and swiss chard, which is why some people eat it on Pesach. It is similar to couscous, with a chewier texture and more health benefits.

I first tasted mushroom quinoa at the newly opened Fresh Cafe in North Miami Beach back in March. The cafe was opened by the owners of The Fresh Diet with an emphasis on healthy, wholesome foods. They offer a classic breakfast menu, whole wheat pizza with various toppings, paninis, wraps, salads (with blue cheese crumbles and goat cheese) and smoothies. Although their menu includes some less-than-healthy options such as a buttered NY bagel, they encourage healthy eating (their menu notes: “heavy white pizza available upon request”). The winning items on the menu include a list of gourmet sandwiches including a Balsamic Glazed Roasted Vegetable Sandwich with Fresh Basil and Feta, Tarragon-Infused Salmon with Cheddar on a Spinach Tortilla, Balsamic-Reduction-Glazed Mushrooms, Shallots and Swiss Cheese on Seven Grain Bread, among others. I ordered a nicoise salad, which they served with sweet potatoes as a healthy alternative to the classic red potatoes. My husband had grilled salmon with a side of quinoa and roasted vegetables. Both were healthy-sized portions, flavorful and filling.

After tasting the quinoa there, I started making it more often at home. It has become a staple around here, served hot alongside a chicken dinner, or cold, as a salad at Shabbos lunch. My husband, and kids absolutely love it (as long as I call it “couscous” my kids are good!). This is, by far, our favorite recipe.

NOTE: I use Trader Joe’s low sodium vegetable broth in this recipe. It is fat free, low calorie, gluten free and organic. The stock is made using a variety of organic vegetables as well as carrot and onion juice concentrate and tomato paste which gives it a reddish tinge. The broth adds a delicious tomato-y flavor to the quinoa. If you cannot get Trader Joe’s broth, you can use Imagine, and add a tsp of tomato paste to the vegetables while they are sauteeing.

The Fresh Cafe
2214 NE 123rd Street
North Miami, FL 33181
Phone: 305-591-8848
Kosher Miami, cholov and pas Yisrael

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7 Comments so far ↓

  1. Laura says:

    We love quinoa, too. I made quinoa salad with craisins, tomatoes, scallions, and lime for last Shabbos, and I want to make this recipe next!

    • chanie says:

      I made it for Shabbos too, with peas, dried cherries and scallions. It was delicious! (I also used the trader joe’s broth in it, which really adds lots of flavor).

  2. This looks wonderful. Every time I’ve tried quinoa I got a stomach ache. But you have me thinking I should try it again….

  3. Chanie says:

    Could you please post the recipe for the quinoa with peas,dried cherries and scallions.

    • chanie says:

      Hi Chanie, I made it some time ago, so I can’t remember exactly. I’m pretty sure I cooked it up the same way (in some Trader Joe’s vegetable stock), and then added thawed peas, dried cherries and scallions. Not much to it :) If you feel like it’s dry, you can always add some oil, lemon juice or vinegar and salt and pepper.

  4. ailuy says:

    Hi, I know this is an old recipe, but I have made it a few times when it was first posted and then forgot about it. I would love to make it again. Reading the comments I see the quinoa with peas and cherries being mentioned. Do you think I can add frozen peas to this recipe? Thank you

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