We are taking liberties because the cooking method employed here is similar to that used for risotto, which refers to rice. This is a great way to enjoy the protein-packed grain quinoa. We’ve also included bulgur and sesame seeds for diversity and texture, plus shiitakes and sweet potato for earthiness. Unlike a traditional risotto, which requires constant stirring and attention, this dish is relatively carefree. Just be sure to keep the heat high, add the liquid in three phases and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- 4 oz. shiitake or portobello mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup peeled, diced sweet potato
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 Tbs. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. dried sage
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
- 1/3 cup uncooked bulgur
- 1/3 cup unhulled sesame seeds (2 oz.)
- 4 tsp. olive oil
- 7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, preferably mushroom broth, or water
- 1 bay leaf
- In large saucepan, bring broth and bay leaf to a boil over high heat.
- Meanwhile, in large, heavy pot, heat oil over high heat. Add mushrooms and sweet potato and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Add onion, garlic, sage, thyme, pepper and salt and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add quinoa, bulgur and sesame seeds and stir until grains are fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Turn heat off broth mixture. Ladle about one-third of hot broth into quinoa mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until grains absorb liquid, about 5 minutes.
- Repeat with remaining broth in two batches, cooking and stirring until absorbed, about 5 minutes per batch. After you have added more than half the broth, taste risotto and adjust seasonings, adding more salt if desired. (Do not add more broth until previous broth has been absorbed.)
- Once all the broth has been added, give mixture a few good stirs. Grains should be cooked but a little firm to the bite; risotto should be moist and slightly creamy. If it’s too wet, simply cook a little longer. If it’s dry, add a little more broth or water. Discard bay leaf and serve.
- Serving Size: 6 servings
- Calories: 411
- Carbohydrate Content: 55 g
- Fat Content: 10 g
- Fiber Content: 7 g
- Protein Content: 13 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
- Sodium Content: 350 mg