Balsamic Quinoa with Shallots and Mushrooms

Wikipedia describes quinoa as...

(/ˈkiːnwɑː/ or /kɪˈnoʊ.ə/, Spanish: quinua, from Quechua: kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Its leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is currently limited.

What they forgot to tell you is that quinoa is incredibly healthy, a great alternative to rice and takes on amazing flavor when mixed with any number of your favorite flavors.

My good friend McKenna turned me onto it, and the more I cook with it, the more I want to keep cooking with it.

It is difficult to find flavorful quinoa recipes since it is still gaining in popularity, so I have started concocting my own quinoa dishes.

I made this on Tuesday for the parents and Lindsey B and they all loved it. Even Lindsey who doesn’t like mushrooms cleaned her plate. Granted she tried to mix her tarragon and shallots sauce from her shrimp into it, that plate was clean regardless.

You will need…

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 bullion cube
4 ounces your favorite mushrooms
1 shallot finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons garlic powder

Quinoa is cooked in a similar fashion to rice. Start by adding the quinoa, water, garlic powder and bullion cube to a pot and heat it over medium heat. If you don’t have a bullion cube you can use chicken stock for the water, but I think the cube provides more flavor. Cook until the mixture boils and then reduce to a simmer and cover.

Simmer over low until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. This should take about 15 minutes. Remove it from the heat and fluff it with your fork.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a medium pan. Add in the shallots and cook until the shallots are soft. About 5 minutes.

Add in your mushrooms and your balsamic and cook the mushrooms until they are soft and hot through out.

When the mushrooms are ready, add the entire contents of the pan to the quinoa and serve hot as a side dish or by itself.

If you aren’t a huge fan of rice, but are looking for some new side dishes or just want a healthy snack, give quinoa a try. It might look funny, but it tastes delicious.

Love and Beer Floats