Satisfying Side or Vegetarian Main course
I am not a huge fan of quinoa. There, I’ve said it. However, when I came across this recipe in 2011, it changed my mind. Don’t misunderstand, quinoa still is not my favorite grain. But when I prepare it this way, I happily gobble it down. I eat it with grilled meat or fish as a side or with a salad for a main course.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa has become pretty ubiquitous and is often seen in Buddha Bowls and in veggie-centric meals. This “Ancient” grain originated in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Argentina and Peru. It is high in protein, dietary fiber, Vitamin B and dietary minerals. And because it is also gluten-free, it is well-tolerated by almost everyone. Quinoa comes in different color varieties, but white quinoa is best with this recipe.
Vegetarian or Vegan
While I use plain yogurt or sour cream, you can veganize by simply using a non-dairy sour cream. The peas, Dijon mustard, herbs and tartness of the lemon juice make this grain into a zippy and bright dish. In order to maximize on the bright colors of spring, the quinoa is best eaten fresh.
Recipe by Naomi Pomeroy
Yield: 4 servings as a side or 2 as a main course
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon and pinch salt
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup yellow onion, diced**
3/4 cup snap or snow peas, ends trimmed and halved crosswise on the bias**
3/4 cup shelled peas, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup fresh mint, torn**
1/4 cup parsley, chopped**
1. Place quinoa in a small saucepan with a pinch of salt. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until tender, about 18 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff grains. Leave lid ajar, and let cool.
2. While quinoa cooks, set a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Swirl in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in snap peas and shelled peas. Sauté for 2 minutes, or until peas turn bright green. Remove from heat.
4. Mix sour cream, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt together. Whisk in ¼ cup olive oil.
5. Stir quinoa into the pea mixture and set pan back over medium heat. Cook until just warmed through and add dressing. Remove from heat.
6. Stir in mint and parsley. Adjust seasoning with lemon juice and salt, if needed.
NOTES: ** I have given the suggested amounts of onions, herbs and peas, but I generally am much more generous when I make this. I love fresh seasonings and lots of additional veggies. Remember balance when you are putting together a dish. You can always add more of something but once it is in there, it is difficult to impossible to remove.