Not Yo Mamas Quinoa

It all started one day when someone, somewhere decided to let the world in on a little secret. Quinoa. The super grain. The healthiest one of them all. People far and wide started stocking up on quinoa. The grain, while easy to digest and hard to pronounce, became a staple in kitchens everywhere. BUT soon quinoa would become no more exciting than brown rice. Just another side dish to add a bit of "healthy" to your table. I quickly figured out that everyone has the same recipe for quinoa. When I went to different parties, the quinoa was either more flavorful or less than the last but never strayed from the original recipe. 

I am here now to tell you that you CAN make a different kind of quinoa. It is possible! Trust me, I just made some in my kitchen not five minutes before picking up my laptop to share these new possibilities with you. Don't get caught in the everyday monotomy. Break free and join me in the kitchen for a Quinoa Makeover. Let's get cooking!

Creamy Garlic Infused Quinoa With Roasted Vegetables and Goat Cheese

1 Bunch of Asparagus, trimmed
1 Bag of Small Sweet Peppers
2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Cracked Salt and Pepper
2 Cups Quinoa
3 Cups Water
2 Garlic Cloves, smashed
1 Lemon, zested 
1 Small Red Onion, diced
6 Oz. Goat Cheese, crumbled
Handful of Pine Nuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a sheet tray add Asparagus and Sweet Peppers. Drizzle vegetables with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper. Vegetables will take about 35-45 minutes to roast, depending on your oven. 
In the meantime, add rinsed Quinoa and Water to a small saucepan along with 2 smashed Garlic cloves. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, cover and reduce fire to low until all water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Remove garlic cloves and discard (they've done their job!) 
Dress the Quinoa with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice and Salt and Pepper to taste. Mix well. You'll want to dress it as soon as possible so that it can absorb all added flavors. 
Once the Veggies have cooled a bit, chop them into desired size for topping. Arrange the Roasted Vegetables, Goat Cheese, Red Onion and toasted Pine Nuts over the Quinoa and Enjoy!


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