Saturday, August 2, 2014

Roasted Mushroom Quinoa

Since the last few posts have been about local restaurants I have visited, and the next few will probably be about my mini vacation to West Michigan this past week, I thought I would throw up another recipe. I found this one, Roasted Mushroom Quinoa (pronounce "keen-wah"), in an old issue of Clean Eating Magazine. I guess it's too old be posted on their website, so I will - more or less - reproduce it for you below and tell you how my batch went. (Clean Eating is a great resource for recipes using fresh ingredients packed with vitamins and all that other healthful stuff.) 

16 oz sliced fresh mushrooms (I used steak cut) 
2 cloves of sliced garlic
1 thinly sliced large shallot
1 T olive oil (I used considerably more)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup quinoa any color
1 loosely packed cup of fresh parsley

1) Preheat oven to 425F. (My oven runs hot, so I did 400F.)

2) Spread the mushrooms, garlic, and shallot out on a large baking sheet. Salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil. This is why I used more than one tablespoon. Maybe there is some secret technique I am missing, or maybe my baking sheet was too big, but just one tablespoon is never enough. Pop this tray in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, tossing the mushrooms around every now and again and flipping them if you can to ensure an even roast. I think I overcooked mine a little as the garlic and shallots were less crisp and more blackened.

3) While that is baking, prepare the quinoa according to box instructions Tip: Don't use your littlest pan. It will about double in size as it cooks. The box says you can use a rice cooker. I have not tried this.

4) Once everything is all cooked and happy, combine the roasted mushrooms, garlic, and shallots, in a large mixing bowl with the quinoa, then sprinkle on the parsley and gently mix. I served mine immediately, though the magazine also recommends chilling it and serving it cold.

I love mushrooms, and these were certainly tasty despite the blackened garlic and shallot. (Stupid oven.) The quinoa, however, distinctly lacked flavor. I think it would have helped had I added the garlic and shallots to the quinoa rather than the mushrooms, or cooked the quinoa in a broth instead of just plain water. Parsley is my go-to herb because I am in love with the flavor - and this was from our own garden, too! - but it was not enough to flavor the dish in this case. 

I have the other half of the box of quinoa left in my cupboard and a wealth of other quinoa dishes to make, so I think I may combine a few and make this again. I think some balsamic vinegar would not go wrong here, and maybe some sun-dried tomatoes. Neither should impact the healthfulness of the dish, and would add some fun color and more taste. This is definitely a dish you could bring as a side to a picnic or a potluck, though we had it as the main course with broccoli on the side. 

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