I’ve been hearing a lot about quinoa lately. It seems to be all the rage with everyone from hippie health freaks to Indian aunties who want to keep their husbands from getting diabetes. It’s being used as a replacement for rice, oats, millet, you name it. My dad’s been recommending quinoa to me for a while, telling me that it’s the secret to getting through my increasingly never-ending days, but I haven’t really known how to get started using it.
Heidi over at 101 cookbooks has several recipes up that I’ve never tried, so today seemed to be a good day to get started on my own quinoa adventure. I bought quinoa at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago, but it’s been sitting in my pantry, forlorn and sad-looking. My refrigerator is home to a bag of yellowing brussels sprouts and borderline wrinkled grape tomatoes, so it was time to give them all a chance at life. My inspiration came from this recipe, but I didn’t have several ingredients that I would have loved to include, like tofu and baby bella mushrooms. In the end it turned out to be quite simple, a quick mix of brussels sprouts, roasted cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and pesto stirred into a fresh, hot pot of quinoa. Since Chicago is still freezing (what is going ON?), this was a lovely one-pot lunch that warmed me up and filled me up at one go. I’m ready to hit my long day of work now, satisfied that I’ve done my part towards being healthier!
1 cup cooked quinoa
8-10 small brussels sprouts
grape tomatoes – you can use however many you want
1-2 tablespoons pesto – here’s a recipe in case you don’t have store-bought
a handful of pine nuts
a pinch of sea salt
a teaspoon of brown sugar
a splash of olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Slice the grape tomatoes and Brussels sprouts in half.
3. Stir together a splash of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and a teaspoon of brown sugar and pour the mixture onto the tomatoes.
4. Gently toss the tomatoes in the mixture and arrange them cut-side-up in a baking dish.
5. Do the same with the Brussels sprouts and arrange them in another baking dish.
6. You can throw in the pine nuts along with the Brussels sprouts.
7. Bake everything in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the tomatoes are well roasted and the Brussels sprouts are golden brown.
8. Stir everything but the tomatoes into the quinoa along with a spoonful of pesto and a pinch of salt.
9. Transfer the whole dish into a plate and top with the tomatoes.