Super Simple Quinoa-roni

by Lazy Dave on November 14, 2008

This recipe is in the “easier than falling off a log” category, subcategory: OMFG.

Quinoa is apparently the proteiniest thing ever. Like protein in protein sauce on a bed of leafy proteins garnished with protein artfully shaped into an elaborate flower that looks suspiciously like a molecular diagram of a protein.

All I know is it’s like nature’s own couscous, and it’s damned nummy.

I went looking for a simple rice-based dish that could be adapted to my new protein-rich friend. I was going to do a paella or a pilaf, but I wanted something that could be assembled super-quickly, thereby qualifying for the regular last-minute dinner rotation. Luckily, I found a five-star Rice-a-Roni (rtmcallrightsreservedpatentpending) knockoff with four, count ’em, four ingredients. I did a little math (yeah, I used Excel — shut up!), threw the ingredients on the trusty and ironic Frigidaire stove, and took a bite. Then my tongue went all happy and licked me all over my face.

Here’s my not-exactly-four-ingredient version of the recipe:

1 cup dry quinoa
1/2 cup vermicelli, spaghetti, or other thin pasta
14.5 ounces (just under 2 cups) flavored broth or water
(if using water, add a bouillon cube or two)
a clove or two of minced garlic
1 TB Earth Balance or olive oil or some other tasty fat
optional – a few shakes of parsley flakes, salt, pepper, and/or anything else you might add to rice

  1. Soak the quinoa in a bunch of water for 15 minutes or so, then rinse it really well.
  2. Break the pasta into 1/2″ pieces.
  3. Throw the fat in a pot over medium-high heat.
  4. Stir in the pasta and quinoa, coating them with the fat.
  5. Stir frequently until the pasta browns a little. A few of the quinoa grains may pop and/or brown.
  6. Stir in the liquid, garlic, and bouillon, if using.
  7. Bring it to a boil, then drop it down to simmer.
  8. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Take off heat.
  10. Wait 5 minutes.
  11. Serve with damned near anything.

Serves 4.

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