Recipe: Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese

by Elizabeth on May 3, 2011 · 5 comments

in recipes, side dishes

Until last night, I had never eaten quinoa, let alone cooked it.  I’ve been wanting to try it for quite some time, but I was having trouble finding it in my regular store.  I finally bit the bullet and went to Whole Foods to find it (and walked out $50 poorer).  I’ve heard that quinoa is popping up in regular grocery stores, but apparently it’s not yet in normal grocery stores in Alabama.  If you can’t find it, try online; Amazon has a good selection.

Quinoa is VERY easy to cook and this recipe would make a great side dish, but is filling enough to serve as a main dish in a meatless meal.  Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s easily adaptable.  You can make it with almonds, like I did, but I think that pine nuts would be delicious too.  Any sort of white cheese that melts well can be used, so this dish is a great way to use up cheeses that you have in your fridge.


Quinoa with Spinach and Cheeseserves four

1 cup uncooked quinoa
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup sliced almonds or pine nuts
6 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 cups baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup grated gruyere, gouda, fontina, or other white cheese

Soak quinoa in hot water for 5-10 minutes.  Drain through a fine wire mesh strainer.  Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil and add soaked quinoa.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until quinoa is tender.  Drain well.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Toast nuts in oil for 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, another 2 minutes.  Stir in quinoa and spinach.  Allow the spinach to wilt and quinoa to reheat, then remove from heat.  Stir in lemon juice, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

-Adapted from Cucee Spouts

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren May 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Yay, I'm glad you like quinoa! I've never made this recipe before, which is surprising given my weakness for mac and cheese, so I'm totally going to do it.

I don't know what grocery stores are near you, but I've found quinoa at Publix, World Market, Fresh Market, and EarthFare. I usually buy in bulk and then I always have it around for a quick dinner.


2 Jessica May 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I just recently tried quinoa for the first time too, and it is soooooo good! And so nutritious, too! I think I will probably use it instead of brown rice in a lot of things.


3 Elizabeth May 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm

@Lauren I found it at Whole Foods. I've heard they have it at Publix, but I couldn't find it. I was able to buy it on the bulk aisle at WF.

@Jessica I was thinking of starting to use it in place of brown rice. It cooks faster and it has a great texture!


4 Shu Han May 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I'm glad you discovered quinoa (: i loved it when i first tried it! I replace it for couscous because i liek its nuttiness more, and it has a similar texture (:


5 Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) May 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I've been wanting to try quinoa for some time. Last I tried it, I ended up with a stomach ache…but I think it's time to try again. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I think I'll get on Amazon and scout some out!


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