Tomato Parmesan Quinoa

I was craving a simple, healthy lunch last week, and goodness did I have one. I bought a giant clamshell of sungold snacking tomatoes that I needed to go through, and a bag of royal quinoa (mixed red, white, and black quinoa!) was sitting untouched in my cupboard. In went my good intentions, and out poured this amazing pilaf-like quinoa dish. Tomato Parmesan Quinoa

Tomato Parmesan Quinoa

Makes 2-3 servings

1/2 C quinoa, rinsed until water runs clear (very important!)
1 C water
3/4 C grape tomatoes (I used the golden variety)
3 garlic cloves (if you’re not crazy about garlic, you may want to use less)
dash of dried basil
dash of dried oregano
pinch of sea salt
splash of white wine (2-4 Tbs)
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese

1. It is critical to wash your quinoa until the water runs clear. The seeds have a coating called saponin that tastes bitter to protect it from being eaten by birds. Much of this is washed off when the quinoa is prepared for packaging, but it will taste much better if you rinse it yourself. I used to greatly dislike quinoa until I started rinsing mine diligently. Sometimes it can take a while – especially if you don’t have a fine mesh strainer and use a french press instead! 🙂

2. Place quinoa and water in a small pan and bring to a boil. When boiling, turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

3. While quinoa is cooking, chop tomatoes and garlic into a paste. I have a ninja chopper, and just put both ingredients in at the same time. If you don’t have one, you could use a blender or food processor. You could chop by hand, but the reason for using the chopper is to save all of the tomato juices to be reduced into a delicious sauce.

4. Heat a small or medium saucepan over medium heat with a tiny splash of olive oil. When heated, pour in tomato-garlic sauce. Mine was a little frothy from the blender, which is totally fine.

5. Add basil, oregano, and salt while mixture is cooking. Cook over medium heat until nearly all of the tomato juice is gone.

6. Add white wine and cook again until liquid is reduced. Take off heat and stir in parmesan. Stir mixture into cooked quinoa.

There you have it! Very easy and quick. I had some leftover shrimp fra diavolo that I served over this quinoa and it was DIVINE. Seriously. Go make it, right now.

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