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parmesan & fennel quinoa with a roasted portobello

June 9, 2013

hiiiiii!!!  i feel as if i have been neglecting you all lately – i am honestly not even sure when my last post went out!  i am two meagre weeks away from completing graduate school and between school and work, i have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off (pardon the expression!).  along with this post, i am hoping to get one more out before graduation because the day after graduation we are going to ireland for a week to celebrate!!!!  can i just say i am BEYOND excited for this trip?!  if anyone has any recommendations for sites to see or food to eat please send them my way 🙂




now that i have brought you up to speed, let’s get down to why you all come here anyway – the food!  i have been trying to get tomas to eat quinoa for quite awhile, and while he doesn’t outright refuse it (like brown rice for example), it’s not the easiest thing to get him to eat either.  enter classmate with fabulous advice – “have you tried red quinoa?  it has a better texture and is more flavorful than golden quinoa.”  come to think of it, i had not in fact tried red quinoa so a couple of weeks ago i bought some and made one of my favorite recipes that i used to make with israeli cous cous (i will post that particular recipe this summer) and wow was she right!




red quinoa is larger in size, doesn’t get as mushy as golden quinoa, is more pearlescent and has a far better texture than its golden counterpart… i was sold in one measly bite!  as for tomas you ask?  he was sneaking it all week – SCORE!!!  so tonight i thought i would make some more to have for lunch or dinner during the upcoming week and decided to make it instead of risotto, but with the same flavors, serve it over spinach, and top it with a roasted portobello mushroom… i must say, i hit the flavor trifecta with this one!  i can’t wait for tomas to try it!  i know a lot of people are intimidated by quinoa, but this cooks exactly like rice and can take on endless flavor profiles so play around with it and find your favorite combination!


serves 8

1 T olive oil

3 cloves chopped garlic

1/4 cup thinly sliced fennel

2 cups raw red quinoa

1/2 cup white wine

1.5 cups water

1 package basil, chopped

2 T garlic butter (i use kerry gold)

1 T olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1.5 lemons

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

8 portobello mushrooms


preheat oven to 450 F.

saute garlic and fennel in olive oil until the fennel is soft.  add in the quinoa and stir well – allow the quinoa to toast for 1 minute.  add in the wine and water and bring the liquid to a boil on high heat.  when boiling, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot for 25-30 minutes.  when the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid, fluff it with a fork and put the lid back on for another five minutes to allow it to steam.

while the quinoa is cooking, pop the stems off the mushrooms, then brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  place them curved side down in a baking dish and set aside until the quinoa is done.  while the quinoa steaming, place the mushrooms in the oven for 10 minutes.

toss the quinoa with the remaining ingredients and serve over your favorite type of green and one mushroom per plate.  enjoy!

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