My Quick ‘Go-To’ Dinner Recipe
If you’ve read some of my other posts, you’ll know by now that I LOVE simple. That includes dinner. In many aspects of my life, I am a planner, but when it comes to dinner I’ve been in a phase of not planning. I think it mostly happened when we switched to eating seasonal a few years ago. We got a CSA box so I had to learn to cook with what I got in my box each week rather than with what I had planned and purchased at a grocery store.
This is definitely my all-time favorite recipe. I make it at least once a week, because I’m able to change it up very easily. It’s usually what I make when we have guests come over, because everyone loves it. I would say 90% of our guests go back for seconds or thirds. That’s a good sign I’m on to something tasty! And best of all, it takes 15-25 minutes to make including prep work.
It is a quinoa based dish. Quinoa is full of protein which is great for our family which doesn’t eat meat much. It’s also filling for guests who are used to meat at every meal, but probably aren’t going to get it at my house. The dressing is amazing. I use it in all kinds of recipes so I usually just keep a giant jar on hand for anything it might go good on. I love that I can switch out the veggies in this recipe for whatever is in season or happens to be growing in my garden.
I will tell you upfront, this recipe isn’t exact. You can mess around with the amounts a bit and customize it to your needs. You can’t hurt it by making changes!
Veggie Quinoa Recipe
1-3 cups of dry quinoa (makes 3-9 cups of wet quinoa once cooked)
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
2-8 cups of veggies of choice (I usually choose 2-4 of the following that go well together: beets, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, squashes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, garlic, and dark leafy greens such as collards and kale.)
1/2-1 cups of dressing (see below)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of olive oil
3 tablespoons of tahini
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of dried parsley (optional)
dash of garlic powder or 1 fresh garlic clove minced
dash of salt and pepper
For every 1 cup of dry quinoa, add 2 cups of water. This doesn’t have to be exact. If you end up with too much water at the end, you can just drain it off the cooked quinoa. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Again, you can customize this. I like my quinoa cooked a little extra so I do a bit over 15 minutes. Drain any excess liquid. Set aside.
While your quinoa is cooking, chop veggies. I like to chop them to a size that will sauté well in about 20 minutes. Again, you can customize this. If you want your veggies well cooked, add a bit more time. I preheat a cast iron skillet on medium with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. I then add in my chopped veggies that take the longest to cook. This would be root veggies and winter squashes. Once I notice those begin to soften, I’ll add the veggies in the take less time to cook such as onions, broccoli, etc. Once all my veggies are sautéed how I like them, I add in the dark leafy greens at the very end just so they wilt a touch.
Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl by hand or put in a blender and blend on medium for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Toss drained cooked quinoa and sautéed veggies together. Add in dressing. Mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*In these photos, I used carrots and sunchokes from the farmer’s market, and garlic and leeks from my garden.
I ALWAYS make extra of this dish. It actually tastes better on day 2 or 3 after all the flavors have really soaked into the quinoa. All you have to do is add a little olive oil to a skillet and reheat it. It’s great cold though too!
You can also add meat. We’ve done it with organic, grass-fed beef. We’ve made it with elk. We’ve done chicken. It really is a flexible recipe which is what I love about it. It’s hard to mess up, and it’s a great one to use when your fridge is a hodgepodge of veggies.
It stores up to 5 days in the fridge.