Filled with spring vegetables, quinoa primavera is a light and healthy dish. Serve it as a meatless main or alongside your favorite protein.
I never thought I would be one of those people who would crave vegetables.
But sure enough, after a long winter of pasta casseroles and creamy soups, I long for that crunch and fresh pop of flavor that can only come from veggies.
While I love fall produce like butternut squash, spring vegetables have their own unique charms.
I always associate spring vegetables with their growing season, the rebirth of all the plants and hope for warmer temperatures that is in the air.
This dish is easy to throw together for lunch or dinner. To be honest, I often forget about using quinoa, but it cooks quickly and is full of nutty flavor.
How to cook quinoa
Quinoa is very simple to cook. If you’ve made rice, you can cook quinoa!
To a saucepan, add rinsed quinoa and water or vegetable broth. You’ll need about 2 cups of liquid for 1 cup of quinoa.
Depending on the quinoa you use, you might need less liquid. Be sure to check the package!
I like to use broth in place of water for the added flavor. If you’re watching your salt content, use low-sodium broth or stick with water.
Bring the contents to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Then, let it rest off the heat while still covered for 5 minutes. Fluff and it’s ready!
This method works whether you choose regular, red, or tricolor quinoa.
Why rinse quinoa?
One of the key tips I learned about cooking quinoa is to rinse it first.
Rinsing the quinoa removes excess starches that might have accumulated on the grains during processing or while being stored in the bag.
It also begins to soften the grains, cueing them to open up in the cooking process. This makes the quinoa more tender and cooks quicker.
What can I add to quinoa primavera?
A great thing about this dish is that you can customize it to your liking.
While I enjoy this salad as-is, it’s also delicious with sliced cooked chicken mixed in. Baked tofu would also be delicious, or even grilled shrimp!
For the vegetables, if you want to expand past the spring theme, you can add roasted zucchini, bell peppers, and onions.
In the wintertime, try it with cubed roasted butternut squash!
I use goat cheese, but you can also swap in feta if you prefer. This would also be delicious with those tiny balls of marinated mozzarella.
If you want to keep the dish vegan, just skip the cheese or use nondairy cheese. You can also use mashed ripe avocado to replicate the creaminess, and add a splash of apple cider vinegar for tang.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 bunch asparagus
- 2 cups halved snap peas
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Rinse quinoa until water runs clear. Transfer to a saucepan and add broth or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15-17 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, trim asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add the olive oil to a large saute pan and heat to medium-high.
- Add the vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender but not mushy.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Add the vegetables, goat cheese, and dill, and mix well.
- Halve lemon and add juice to taste, reserving the other half for serving. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 339Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 755mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 8gSugar: 7gProtein: 15g