Toasted Quinoa with Peas and Beans

I actually made this the other day for my parents.  I had to give my niece piano lessons soon after it was done cooking, but I figured I would be able to have some and take a picture of it later.  When I got done with piano lessons, however, this is what I found.

Toasted Quinoa
I really need to start taking pictures beforehand

I guess they liked it.  

According to my mom, my dad wasn’t too keen on having quinoa for dinner, but he ended up having 4 helpings (hence the empty skillet).  Consequently, I had to make it again, but this time I took a picture immediately after it was done. 

So I know that I have had a toasted quinoa dish before, but this one is a little different.  This is one that uses ingredients that I always have on hand and that I would guess most people have in the pantry.

Toasted Quinoa with Peas and Beans
Serves 4
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  1. 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1 teaspoon dried basil
  5. 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  6. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. 2 tablespoons honey
  8. 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  9. 1/4 kosher salt
  10. 1/2 cup pecan, toasted
  11. 1 cup frozen peas
  12. 2 cans beans (I use one white and one black)
  1. Put quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook until quinoa smells toasty and begins popping (it should sound like a geiger counter found uranium). Once toasted, carefully pour water in, and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and dried basil. Bring to simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, mix together vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt. Once quinoa is done cooking, turn off heat and stir in vinaigrette, pecans, and peas. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
One Fine Tomato

Broccoli ‘Cheese’ Soup

Sorry that this bowl is not even half full, and more than half empty.  

Every Saturday, my family gets together for dinner (which ends up being pizza 95% of the time).  I either make my own gluten-free, dairy-free pizza, or a soup.  Last Saturday I made this broccoli soup.  I figured that since I doubled the recipe there would be plenty of leftovers so I could take a picture of it the next day.  However, it was so popular there was barely a half-cup left.  Even my 18-year-old nephew liked it.

Broccoli 'Cheese' Soup
Serves 8
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  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 2 pounds of broccoli florets
  3. 1 large onion
  4. 2 medium garlic cloves
  5. 2 teaspoon mustard powder
  6. pinch cayenne pepper
  7. Kosher salt
  8. 4 cups water
  9. Rounded 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  10. 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  11. 2-1/2 ounces baby spinach
  12. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  13. 3/4 cup dairy-free cheddar cheese (Recommended: Daiya)
  14. Freshly ground pepper
  1. Heat oil in large, heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water and baking soda. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until broccoli is very soft (you should be able to mash it with the back of your spoon), about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add broth and 3 cups water and increase heat to medium-high. When mixture begins to simmer, stir in spinach, dairy-free cheese, and nutritional yeast. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to blender in batches (you don't want to fill it more than 2/3 full or else you may have an explosion) and process until smooth. Transfer soup to medium bowl and repeat with remaining soup. Return soup to Dutch oven. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
Adapted from Cook's Country
Adapted from Cook's Country
One Fine Tomato
One thing that may seem strange, is that you are basically supposed to cook the broccoli to death to get the real flavor out.  The baking soda speeds up the process, and the spinach gives it the bright, green color.