The first time I bought quinoa, I cooked it without any seasonings. I tasted it, shrugged my shoulders and then put it back in the pantry. This COULDN'T be the same quinoa that people were raving about could it?

What I found out (much later) was that you have to add veggies, spices, etc. to the quinoa (while cooking) and then something magical happens. Quinoa takes on the attitude of whatever you cook it with......want beefy? cook it in beef broth, want it spicy? cook it with Rotel tomatoes. Some people even eat it for breakfast, but I haven't tried that yet.

So, lately, I've been experimenting with adding different things to quinoa and this beefy quinoa was a hit. I hope you like it too.


3/4 cup chopped onion
6 large mushrooms
1 large carrot
1 cup peas
1 cup quinoa (rinsed and drained)
2 cups beef broth (I used Campbell's beef consume)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne (optional)

Prep work: Remove stems from mushrooms and put them in the food processor along with the carrot. Pulse them until both vegetables are about the size of a pea. Next hand slice the mushrooms fairly thickly and set aside. Note: add as many of your favorite veggies as you want.

Saute onions then scoot them over to edge of pan. Add the mushrooms and sauté them (in the onion pan) until you get some toasty brown color on the edges.

Put EVERYTHING into a large sauce pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat and put a tight fitting lid on it. Reduce boil to a gentle simmer (like for rice) and cook for 15-20 minutes. You will know that the quinoa is cooked completely when you see that it has swollen to a semi transparent little circle and it has a small white seed shoot on it like this:

After the quinoa is cooked, I like to turn the heat off and let it sit (with lid on) for 10 minutes before eating. 

Depending on how many veggies you pack into this recipe (there is no limit), you should get 5 or 6 cups in the final dish. I freeze it in one cup measures. No need to defrost, just microwave uncovered for 2 minutes. It makes a great (and filling) lunch, with no guilt !!

Quinoa is known as a super food for many reasons. The description of most of those reasons are words that I don't use every day, like flavonoids, phylonutrients, antioxidants, etc.
For me, my reasons for enjoying quinoa are: it's quick and easy to prepare, it will take on any seasonings you like and most of all, I can eat a big bowl of this and it doesn't effect my blood sugars very much at all, plus it's gluten free!! I hope you try it.