Meatless Monday: Hearty Quinoa with Greens & Goat Cheese

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Quinoa and its magical powders–the newest super food. This whole grain is a seed derived from a plant closely related to spinach. It provides an excellent source of protein, fiber and calcium. And best of all? It’s tasty! I love the little bit of crunchiness, the texture really adds dimension to any dish.

In the past I’ve made spur of the moment risotto dishes or rice casseroles, but quinoa was on my brain after making granola with it just the other week. We had a container of goat cheese and some leeks. That gave me inspiration. I wanted a simple one dish meal that was tasty, texturally interesting and had a kick of flavor. I added mushrooms and spinach for nutrition then finally sundried tomatoes for a bit of flavor intensity. The dish works well both hot and at room temperature, and like many one dish meals, the flavors deepen more each day. Definitely make some extra so you have leftovers!

Hearty Quinoa with Greens & Goat Cheese

  • 2 c quinoa
  • 3 c water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, diced
  • 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1 bunch spinach, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese, plus extra for garnish

Cook the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa and loosen any residue of saponin using a fine sieve. Drain well and transfer to a medium saucepan. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid, turn head down to simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes with lid still on. Remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork.

In a large skillet heat olive oil. Add leeks  and mushrooms, cooking 5-6 minutes until leeks soften.

Continue cooking over medium heat and add sundried tomatoes. Add spinach and cook until just wilted but still bright green. Season with salt and pepper.

Add quinoa and stir well. Remove from heat and stir in goat cheese until cheese is fully mixed in and melty. Serve with extra crumbled goat cheese of desired.

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