I think that you guys are going to love this super easy quinoa recipe. It is made up of very simple ingredients which you can buy in practically any supermarket these days. It also takes under half an hour to make, so acts as a brilliantly quick and healthy recipe for dinner. If you feel like mixing it up a little, grains such as pearl barley, bulgur wheat (both of which contain gluten, FYI, but are a great fibre-rich option for those who can tolerate gluten) or lentils would work in the place of the quinoa – you might just need to alter the cooking time and quantity of stock a little.
On the nutritional side of things, this is a broth which will sort you out and fuel you up. Parsley is one of my favourite herbs and you can honestly add piles of it to this recipe – the more the merrier. Parsley is absolutely jam-packed with iron, vitamins C and A and flavonoids, so for this reason it is an ingredient we need to look to as more than just a herb or a garnish; it really is a super-duper healthy addition to any meal. Quinoa provides protein and essential amino acids, while tomatoes are full of the antioxidant benefits of beta-carotene. So eat up and enjoy!
A couple of things to note with this easy quinoa recipe: each time I have tested it, the yield that I have got from the quinoa has been different. I was using organic quinoa the first time and got the perfect amount to serve two people; the second time, I used the exact same weight of quinoa from Waitrose and it made so much more! Either way, when you serve it, be bold and add more stock if you want it to be more ‘brothy’. If you do have any leftover quinoa, just drain it and make it into a lovely salad for the next day – or even toast up some more tomatoes to have it again as a broth for lunch.
HERBY QUINOA BROTH WITH TOMATOES
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable Bouillon powder (or 1 vegetable stock cube)
- 1500ml of hot water
- 225g (7.6oz / 1.5 cups) of quinoa
- 250g (8.5oz) of cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1 large or two medium cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ a medium red chilli
- 25g (0.9oz / 1 cup) of parsley, roughly chopped
- 15g (0.5oz / ⅔ cup) of mint, roughly chopped
- 1 generous handful of lettuce (ideally Romaine or something with good crunch factor), finely chopped
- Generous pinch of salt and grind of pepper
- 70g (2.5oz / ½ a cup) of feta cheese
- Juice of ¼ lemon
- Start by whisking the Bouillon powder or stock cube into the boiling water to thoroughly dissolve. Next, cook the quinoa in a pan over a medium heat with about 600ml of the vegetable stock. Leave it to simmer for about 20-25 minutes (or as per packet instructions) until it's ‘tails’ have started to sprout and it has softened.
- Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in a dry pan on a medium heat and toss until they start to blacken on all sides* (see notes below). It may smoke a bit but just hold your nerve. Next, roughly chop your garlic and chilli - I like to chop the garlic rather than crush it in a press, as it means you get delicious little bites of golden garlic at the end.
- Once the tomatoes have got some nice colour on them, add the water to the pan to cool it down before adding the olive oil, garlic and chilli. Continue to cook over a medium heat for a few minutes until the garlic turns a nice golden colour. Gently stir so that the tomatoes are coated and then remove from the heat.
- Roughly chop the parsley, mint and lettuce. With the lettuce, you just want thin strips that are about 0.5cm long - they add a really nice texture to the broth. Once the quinoa is cooked, add the remaining stock, bring to the boil and then stir through your herbs and lettuce. Season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the quinoa into bowls and top with the tomatoes and some crumbled feta. Finally, squeeze a little of the lemon juice over the top, to taste.