2 cups quinoa
3-4 cups chicken broth (if desired, substitute with water or vegetable stock)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped into half-inch cubes
1 large red bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
Kosher salt (adjust to taste depending to your cooking liquid)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp butter
1/2 lb baked or rotisserie chicken (optional), deboned and cubed
Put the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, and rinse in lukewarm water until clean. In a medium pot, add the chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Season it with salt and pepper if needed. Stirring it occasionally. Note that brown and red quinoa can take longer to cook than gold one.
In a medium frying pan, pour the olive oil, add the chopped onions, and Sauté on medium heat for 10-15 minutes until golden. Next, add the bell peppers and garlic and let cook down for 3 minutes. (Don’t over cook the bell peppers, they should still be firm when they go in the pot). Last, add the tomato paste and cook it for a minute with your veggies. When the quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid, add the sautéed mixture and stir. Add the butter and mix one more time. With the back of your wooden spoon, make couple of hollow hole impressions through the quinoa to help the grain steam better. Cover the pot and let it simmer on low heat until quinoa is tender (20 minutes). Uncover and fluff it with fork and serve immediately.
- This dish is delicious just on its own, but if you prefer it with protein of sort, add cooked chicken or beef when adding the sautéed mixture and let everything simmer together.
- Always follow the package direction and measure the liquid. Just like rice, quinoa can become mushy or under cooked if the liquid amount is not right.
- Buy store prepared rotisserie chicken and cut it to bite size pieces ahead of time and just add when mixing the vegetable mixture with quinoa before steaming.