Quinoa's so great so healthy blah blah tastes so good blah blah trendy blah. We've all read the "Quinoa is the new super food!" articles, but please, tell me - does anyone actually LIKE the taste of plain quinoa? Because honestly, I am not a fan. It's grainy, it's nutty, and nothing makes me sadder than a healthy meal of a protein and veggie with some plain old quinoa.
That being said, I am well aware of all of the miraculous health properties of quinoa, most notably that I can feel better about eating it than I can about rice. So, I'm always on a mission to figure out how to make quinoa taste better. Recently, I was trying to detox from my Barbados trip (#perkalgreen2016), and so I cut out all things enjoyable in life (goodbye alcohol, meat, carbs, dairy, fun...). I was basically left with seafood, vegetables, and quinoa. Somehow, this actually resulted in one of the best food weeks I've had in a while. Scallops with mashed cauliflower, shrimp with tomato sauce and spaghetti squash, and blackened tilapia with this magical panang curry quinoa with spinach. This last meal actually resulted in Skinnytaste's Beef, Tomato and Acini di Pepe Soup being dethroned as Tim's favorite meal.
This is ridiculously easy, but adds so much flavor to the quinoa that I could just eat it plain for dinner. I know that typically you make the veggies and protein in curry and then put it on top of plain rice or quinoa, but I wanted to cook my fish separately and ended up just making a curry quinoa. Replacing the coconut milk with coconut oil kept the coconut flavor without the extra calories and fat, and adding the spinach snuck in some veggies to the mix - you could really add any veggie in here and it would be awesome! This is great as a side dish, and I think would be great with some chicken thrown in or, like we did, some blackened or otherwise seasoned fish or shrimp on top. Seriously, make this ASAP - it's my new favorite side dish.
Panang Curry Quinoa with Spinach
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon panang curry paste (Lori turned me onto this and I love it)
- 2 handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped (or just ripped up as you're throwing it in the pan)
Sautee curry paste in coconut oil for 2 minutes. Add quinoa and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. With 3-4 minutes to go, mix in spinach and replace cover. Once liquid is absorbed, go ahead and serve!