Quinoa. Mushrooms. Spinach. What could go wrong? Nothing! It’s a great dish for vegans and non-vegans and it’s very easy to make, especially if you have a rice cooker.
Let me take a step back for a minute: I haven’t been the best vegan lately. I can rattle off all the usual lame excuses and legitimate reasons but it really boils down to this: I haven’t been eating well, whether I’m being a good vegan or breaking down and eating a block of cheese with a side of yogurt. I’ve also been exercising a lot more which is great, but I can definitely feel that it’s bordering on unhealthy because I’m not getting proper nutrition.
I’m trying to get back to healthy eating – meaning that I’m trying to ensure that I’m getting all the nutrients I need. This easy quinoa dish is a step in the right direction. It makes a great side dish with tofu or other protein of your choice and is totally versatile. Add some walnuts or sweet peppers or squash! Yum.
Easy Quinoa with Mushrooms and Spinach
(adapted from Damn Delicious)
1 cup quinoa
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 cup spinach
1 tbsp canola or safflower oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse and cook quinoa according to the package instructions. I use a rice cooker and it is perfection!
2. Heat up the oil in a pan. Toss in the garlic. After it starts getting fragrant, toss in the mushrooms, salt and pepper, and saute until cooked, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Lower the heat or remove from heat altogether and toss in the spinach – it all depends on whether you want the spinach fully cooked or just wilted.
4. Stir in the quinoa until well combined.
I ate this by itself, but I encouraged the fam to eat it as a side dish with fish or chicken. Feel free to throw in other spices or veggies! I myself sprinkled some crushed red pepper on this and that added a great kick.
As far as nutrition goes, I felt really good about eating this since:
- Quinoa is a good protein source AND has a perfect balance of important amino acids AND also has a good amount of fiber and iron
- Baby bellas are a great source of selenium, niacin, copper and pantothenic acid – all good things
- Spinach is just awesome. Do I really have to explain why? There’s a reason that Popeye wolfed down a can of it to power up!