All sorts of green things – peas, herbs, spinach – are sauteed with quinoa to make for one flavorful and fresh side dish!
I may have grown up with smoked salmon and sun-dried tomatoes, but two things I didn’t grow up with? Quinoa and peas. I think I was the one who introduced my parents to quinoa in college when I made them this recipe from 101 cookbooks, and it came as a HUGE shock to my mom that I LOVE peas. I confessed my appreciation for this notoriously disliked vegetable when I made her this recipe. Sometimes I’m all about texture when it comes to foods, and peas have such a fun texture – if done right, they kind of pop in your mouth. I always joke that I love baby food textures too – I’m a huge fan of pureed anything.
I had a tough time naming this recipe! At first, I was thinking of calling it “super greens quinoa” but I feel like only juice and smoothies these days can be nicknamed “super green”. Then I started counting the number of green things in this recipe – peas, spinach, parsley, cilantro, lime juice – and I realized awful (and overkill) “quintuple greens quiona” sounded unappetizing, so I went with Triple Green Quinoa and lumped all of the herbs and lime juice as one big green. What I’m trying to get at here is that this light and healthy recipe is chock full of all sorts of green items, all of which just add to the wonderful flavors and textures of the dish without tasting too “green”! This dish is very simple, and can be easily made ahead.
Onions are sauteed down in a little olive oil, and then cooked quinoa is stirred in alongside peas, chopped spinach, lots of fresh herbs and plenty of lime juice and a little chili powder for spice. That’s all there is to it. I probably wouldn’t eat this alone for dinner, but you certainly could given its nutritional profile – you’ve got complete protein from the quinoa and peas, and then your leafy greens quota for the day thanks to the spinach, and the olive oil for healthy fat. It’s a fantastic side dish to any simple proteins – poached salmon, roasted chicken, etc. I used it as the base for some jazzed up burrito bowls using salsa chicken made in a crockpot. You could also stir in some freshly cooked shrimp or tofu for a more complete meal, and simply heat that up for leftovers the next day. I think I’ll bring this to plenty of dinner parties this summer when I want to impress the guests but not break the bank or spend too much time in the kitchen. It’s a great alternative just to simple quinoa or brown rice, and you likely have all of these ingredients in your pantry or your freezer already. Clearly I am very excited about this recipe because I’m thinking up all of the ways that this recipe works for me and the people I feed!
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- ½ white onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cup chopped spinach (frozen or fresh)
- 1 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Salt and pepper
- Over medium heat, sautee the onions in the olive oil
- Once translucent, add the quinoa
- Mix in the spinach and peas, and allow all to cook for 5-7 minutes over low to medium heat
- Stir in the herbs
- Take off the heat, and stir in the lime juice and chili powder
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve!
If you like this, you’ll love: Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables, Feta, and Almonds