Italian Quinoa

There has been a long dry spell for my creativity in the kitchen.  I’m sure it’s been caused in part by my busy life and in part by my mental focus on creating a dessert for the up-coming Virtual Vegan Potluck (more on that soon.)  Overall, the family has been receiving old stand-bys on the table and some lazy versions of home cooked meals!

No wonder, then, my family just about licked the pan clean last night when I served this.  I was a bit surprised, because most of them aren’t big fans of sun-dried tomatoes and usually pick them out to toss onto my plate (which means I get tons more – yay!)  However, last night I didn’t get any extras on my plate!  None!  If I had known that, I would have put more in the recipe than I did.  I was informed it is a texture issue and these sun-dried tomatoes were soft enough for their palates this time.  Who knew?  Therefore, I wrote a scope of choice below for how many tomatoes you use.  The picture shows the quinoa with about 4 oz. of sun-dried tomatoes (approximately).  It would have been tastier with the larger amount and that is what I will do next time.

Italian QuinoaYou can switch a few things around in this recipe depending on what you have in your cupboards and refrigerator.  I didn’t have any fresh mushrooms, so I used canned, but either works.  If you prefer a stronger tasting olive such as Kalamata, then by all means, try those.  I’m the only one in this house who likes cooked bell peppers – of any color, so I didn’t toss any in, but those would be great here, too – either fresh or frozen.  (I figured I was pushing it by using the sun-dried tomatoes, let alone making it “worse” in their minds by adding peppers.)

Addendum:  You will need a large frying pan with lid or dutch oven.  Mine is 4-5 quarts!

Italian Quinoa

  • 1 lg. onion, chopped
  • 2 Tofurkey Italian “sausage” links, diced (optional, or reduce)
  • 6-8 oz. frozen artichoke hearts (half a bag)
  • olive oil (may use oil from sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 4-8 oz. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 4 oz. can of chopped portabella mushrooms
  • 1 can black olives, sliced or quartered
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 4 c. water
  • 2 T. chicken-style seasoning
  • 2 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • soy parmesan “cheese”

Saute the onion, Tofurkey links, and artichoke hearts in just enough olive oil to keep them from sticking or burning.  As the artichokes thaw, they will put off some liquid that will help.  Once the onion is softening some and the artichokes can be mushed with the back of a spoon to break them up and distribute them a bit, add remaining ingredients, excluding parmesan “cheese.”  (Include some or all of the oil from the tomatoes for the best overall flavor.)  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle soy parmesan over the whole dish and stir in.  Serve with extra parmesan at the table.

Best served with cooked greens or a salad.

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