Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Confession: I had been a vegetarian for a full two years before I tried quinoa for the first time. Looking back, and knowing how much and how often I eat quinoa now, it seems almost impossible. What did I eat? How did I survive? It remains a mystery.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a staple of the vegan diet, and it is quickly increasing in popularity among meat-eaters as well. The reasons for this are many. Quinoa contains a high amount of both protein and fiber while remaining gluten free (however, quinoa is often processed in facilities with other grains, so those with a gluten intolerance should eat it with care until they know its effects on them). It is high in several vitamins and minerals including iron, riboflavin, manganese and magnesium, and it contains all nine essential amino acids. The very definition of a superfood!
Personally, I love quinoa because it is incredibly versatile and so quick and easy to prepare! It was with that in mind that I created the following recipe. It has all of the flavors of my favorite summer cocktail, and the quinoa and avocado make it a filling, satisfying – and healthy! – dish. It would be good as a quick workday lunch or as a side dish to whatever vegan main course you have planned for dinner. And it’s an excellent starter dish for those who are contemplating veganism or are doing Meatless Mondays.
Mojito Quinoa (serves two as a main dish, four as a side)
- 1 cup quinoa (any color will do!)
- 2 cups veggie broth (optional)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 avocado, peeled, cored and chopped
- juice of 1 medium lime
- small handful of fresh mint, chopped
- small handful of fresh basil, chopped
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce (more to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Cook quinoa in broth (or water) for about 15 minutes or until the broth is fully absorbed and quinoa is tender. Cook peas according to package directions. Combine everything in a bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of hot sauce and a few mint leaves. Serve warm and enjoy!
- Most recipes call for quinoa to be rinsed prior to cooking, but I personally never do. It’s your call!
- You can sub water for the veggie broth if you’re watching your salt intake.
- Start with just a small amount of cayenne and hot sauce and add it to taste.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.