Quinoa is a favorite of many with good reason. It’s a grain (actually a seed) that is loaded with protein and is gluten-free. It is easy to prepare and is the perfect blank canvas for many creative additions.
I love it in a salad because it can stand up to big tastes like the ones in this recipe. There is an explosion of tastes and textures, yet there is also a pleasant balance of flavors. Grilling the corn and mushrooms gave them both a flavor boost. The chewiness of the mushrooms gave the dish a “meaty” feel and the tomatoes and onions gave it just the right amount of crunch. Quinoa is innately toothsome and was a perfect counterbalance.
I opted for a vinaigrette liberally laced with lemon and rosemary and a big hint of garlic to keep with the Mediterranean theme. You could use another bean, maybe cannellini if you were so inclined. The addition of a little cheese, perhaps feta, wouldn’t be a sin either. As with all of my recipes, I want you to make it your own.
This would make a wonderful side dish at a cookout, but it would be equally at home starring as they main attraction.
Cook the quinoa in the vegetable stock according to the package directions adding the lemon peel, crushed garlic, and rosemary sprig at the beginning of cooking. Once it is cooked, remove the garlic, lemon, and rosemary as well as any un-absorbed broth and transfer into a large bowl.
Trim the stems on the mushrooms. Cut any very large ones in half. Toss with the olive oil and grill in a basket over medium heat until lightly browned. Add to the bowl of quinoa.
Spray the ears of corn lightly with cooking spray and grill over medium heat until lightly charred on all sides. Allow to cool slightly. Cut the kernels off the cob and add them to the quinoa bowl.
Drain the artichoke hearts well and roughly chop them before adding them to the bowl along with the red onions and garbanzo beans.
Cut the tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl
Toss the ingredients together gently. Add the dressing and toss once more. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small food processor. Blend until the dressing is smooth. There will be small flecks of rosemary...that is a good thing.
Meatless Monday doesn’t mean you can’t have some “meaty” flavor. Portobella mushrooms have a rich earthy flavor and dense texture that give you the “feel” of meat without the cholesterol. Steak sauce is the driving force in the marinade and quinoa provides fiber and a good amount of protein.
Wipe the mushrooms to remove any loose dirt. Remove the stems and scrape out the gills. Cut in half and then cut each half into thick slices.
To make the marinade: Mix the steak sauce, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, garlic, and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil together in a small bowl.
Place the mushroom slices in a large zip top bag and add the marinade ingredients. Gently shake and squeeze the bag to distribute the marinade evenly. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or as long as overnight.
To Prepare the Quinoa: Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and the quinoa. Cook, stirring frequently 5 minutes or so until the quinoa is lightly browned.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cover. Cook 20 minutes or so until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Prepare the mushrooms and onions while the quinoa cooks.
In a medium fry pan heat the remaining olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent.
Drain the mushrooms and add them to the onions. Toss to combine and cook for several minutes. You can finish cooking the mushrooms in the pan over high heat, stirring often. This will take 5 - 8 minutes. You can also finish the cooking on the grill.
To finish on the grill: heat a grill basket over high heat. Spray with non-stick olive oil spray. Add the mushroom and onion mixture and cook for 5 - 8 minutes stirring occasionally. everything should be kind of golden.
Spoon the quinoa into two shallow bowls. divide the mushroom mixture between the two bowls. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles on each serving.
Bring the water to a boil. add the quinoa and cover. Reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the quinoa on the paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring half way through. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Heat a non-stick wok over medium heat. Coat the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Add the chicken pieces and 1/2 teaspoon of the Five Spice Powder. Toss and cook for 3 minutes. The chicken should be barely browned. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Lightly beat the eggs and add to the hot wok. Turn pan to create a thin layer. Cook until light golden brown turning once. remove from pan and allow to cool. Cut into thin strips and set aside.
Add the broccoli, peppers, broccoli to the wok. Add several tablespoons of the chicken broth. Toss and cook until the vegetables soften slightly. Add more broth as needed to prevent burning. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the canola oil an allow it to get hot. Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to the oil. Cook and stir until the ingredients are fragrant. 3 - 5 minutes.
Add the quinoa to the pan and toss to mix all the ingredients together. Cook, tossing to allow the quinoa to brown. This should take 5 - 7 minutes. Add chicken broth a little at a time to keep everything from burning.
Add the chicken and vegetables to the pan and toss. Continue cooking and tossing until everything is heated through.
Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and the remaining Five Spice Powder together in a small bowl. Add several tablespoons of chicken broth. Pour over the mixture in the pan and toss to mix.
Serve topped with the egg strips and the sliced green onions.