Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cheesy quinoa pashtida

Would you believe me if I said quinoa is our new favorite food?

I remember tasting quinoa a long time ago and not liking it.  That's what happens when you treat it like rice and serve it barely seasoned, as a side dish.  Boring, bland, and weird texture.

But then we started tasting quinoa with other savory ingredients mixed in, and seasoned.  We tried some vegetables with quinoa stuffing.  The trick to quinoa is to mix it together with lots of other delicious things, and that led us to adapt this dish from a recipe we saw somewhere.

We've made this about four times in the last six weeks, and each time it's a little different.  The quinoa always gets soaked in water, then strained, and then boiled in 2 times whatever volume of dry quinoa you started with.  We always add chicken soup mix to the boiling water, which does a great job covering up quinoa's natural bland taste.

Then, sautee vegetables of your choice - we used onions, garlic, zucchini and מנגולד - a type of chard - with salt, pepper, garlic, etc.  After the quinoa is cooked, mix it with the veggies, 1 egg per cup of dry quinoa, and cheese.  Pour into a baking dish, top with grated Parmesan cheese and bake till bubbly.

With all that soup mix, egg, and cheese, one might wonder if the quinoa is really contributing here.  Believe me, it is.  Maybe not so much taste wise, but it definitely gives the whole thing a unique and addictive texture.    It's easy to eat through an insane amount of this stuff without even realizing.  Pretty much every time we make it for dinner, we have to force ourselves to save enough for lunch the next day.

Try it.