Mushrooms, scallions, a tiny hint of soy sauce, and Parmesan make this quinoa side dish sing with flavor.
I know some people still aren't familiar with Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), a trendy type of seed from South America that's eaten as a grain. It's become popular partly because it's gluten-free, high in protein, and very nutritious, but it's also delicious when it's prepared well. I started to really like quinoa when I made the Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro, and this Quinoa Side Dish with Mushrooms, Green Onions, and Parmesan is definitely a riff on that recipe. But for this version I tripled the Umami factor with mushrooms, Parmesan, and just a hint of soy sauce added to the vegetable stock for a new quinoa side dish that's was really a wow for me. If you haven't tried Quinoa yet, maybe this will be the recipe that gets you to try it!
Of course this delicious quinoa dish is my Meatless Monday offering for the week; happy Monday after Easter everyone! (You can find more meatless recipes by clicking Meatless Monday or Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index. For Meatless Monday ideas elsewhere, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, or visit my Meatless Monday Pinterest board.)
Wash mushrooms and cut into quarters or smaller if the mushrooms are big. (I used brown Crimini mushrooms, my favorite.)
Slice the green onions diagonally into fairly thin slices. I would get the mushrooms and green onions ready before you cook the quinoa because it cooks pretty quickly.
Put the quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse well with cold water. (Almost all quinoa needs to be rinsed unless the package says otherwise.)
Then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover the pan, and let it cook for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Let it sit for 5 minutes more with the lid on. (Don't you love my well-used pan in this photo!)
While the quinoa cooks heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and it's evaporated, and the mushrooms are slightly browned, about 5-6 minutes.
When the quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork. Season to taste with a little salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
(Makes 4 side-dish servings; recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro.
1 lb. brown Crimini mushrooms (also called Baby Bellas), washed and cut in quarters or smaller
3/4 cup sliced green onions, cut on the diagonal
2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well with cold water
2 cups vegetable stock (I used a 14 oz. can of vegetable broth with a little water added to make 2 cups.)
1 T soy sauce (use gluten-free Tamari if needed)
2 T grated Parmesan
Wash mushrooms if needed and cut into fourths (or smaller if the mushrooms are large.) You want all the mushrooms in approximately same-size pieces. Cut green onions diagonally to make about 3/4 cup.
Bring the vegetable broth and soy sauce to a boil in a saucepan that has a tight fitting lid. While the liquid is coming to a boil, put the quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse well with cold water. When the broth is boiling add the quinoa, stir, reduce heat so the liquid is at a low simmer, cover the pan, and let it cook 15 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed.) Let the quinoa sit 5 minutes covered. (Quinoa has little sprouts that pop out when it's cooked; look for those.)
While the quinoa cooks, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the mushrooms, and cook over medium-high heat until the mushrooms release their liquid and it's evaporated and mushrooms are getting slightly brown, about 5-6 minutes.
As soon as the quinoa is cooked and has been sitting covered for 5 minutes, fluff quinoa with a fork. Stir in the browned mushrooms, green onions, and Parmesan. Serve hot.
This was delicious hot while the green onions were still nicely crunchy, but I also thought it was surprisingly good cold when it had been in the fridge overnight.
South Beach Suggestions:
Quinoa is approved for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. It's high in protein, but does have some carbs and good fat, so use portion control if you're actively trying to lose weight.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Meatless Ideas with Quinoa You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Pesto Asparagus Quinoa Casserole ~ Oh Sweet Basil
Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Spinach-Feta Quinoa Cakes ~ Panini Happy
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Parsley and Mint ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)