Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quinoa with Spinach, Feta & Walnuts

Ever since I had quinoa pilaf at my mom's last week, I've had a craving I just can't shake. I finally picked some up at the grocery store this weekend and put it to good use tonight.

I remembered seeing a recipe for Quinoa Spanakopita a while ago, which sounded delicious. I didn't really read through her recipe, but took inspiration from her idea when coming up with this dish. I love the textures in this bowl of goodness; you get chewy from the quinoa, a nice little crunch from the toasted walnuts, and a creamy bite from the feta. I used fat free feta because I honestly think it tastes just as good as the regular stuff, and I'd rather get my fat from something tasty, like the nuts.

We ate this at room temperature like a warm salad and it made a great meal for a warm day. It could also work well as a side dish at a BBQ.

Matt topped his with some turkey meat for added bulk, which he really liked, but this makes a great vegetarian dish as well. Not only is this meal quite tasty and satisfying, it's not too shabby on the nutrition stats. Each serving packs a whopping 23.5 grams of protein and almost 7 grams of fiber. Gotta love those power grains!

Quinoa with Spinach, Feta and Walnuts

Serves 2

1/2 cup whole grain quinoa
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cube vegetable bouillon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups fresh baby spinach
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 oz. fat free feta, crumbled
Black pepper, to taste

In a small pot, combine quinoa, 1 cup water and bouillon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes until little strings come off the grains.

While the quinoa is cooking, add the walnuts to a dry pan and toast over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside.

In the same pan, spray with cooking spray and add onions and salt. Saute over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until onions are translucent (add additional cooking spray as needed). Then add the garlic and cook additional 2 minutes. Add the spinach and 1/4 cup water, and continue cooking until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and add lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano and pepper. Stir to combine.

Combine spinach mixture with cooked quinoa and divide between two bowls. Top each bowl with the crumbled feta and toasted walnuts.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great, Starting the quinoa right now!