Quinoa and veggie mush

I didn’t know what to call this dish, because it’s not quite a stew and it’s too mushy to be a pilaf. Mush sounded most appropriate, although it’s not an overwhelmingly appetising name. Don’t let it put you off – I think this is the best way to eat quinoa. I am a huge fan of quinoa, and I ate it a lot when I lived in London. It’s really expensive here in South Africa, so I haven’t been cooking with it that much. I keep reading about it in local food magazines and websites though – it seems to be the new healthy food du jour – and I remembered how much I love this dish. This is one of Joe’s made-up recipes, and it’s super adaptable. Make it with whatever veggies you have around. It’s really nice with a bit of cheese – I like feta or mozzarella.

Quinoa and veggie mush

Serves 6

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 250 g chopped courgettes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 chopped aubergine
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
  • 80 g feta
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

In a large saucepan or wok fry the onion and garlic in a slug of olive oil until softened. Add the aubergine and a bit more oil. Aubergine really soaks up oil so if it starts getting too dry, I add some balsamic vinegar. Fry for about five minutes, and then add the courgettes. Cook these for a further three minutes, and then add the quinoa, the tin of tomatoes, puree and half a cup of water. Boil away until it starts getting thicker and then add another half cup of water. Stir until all the water is absorbed and then add another half cup of water. Continue until the quinoa is cooked – you can tell when the grains become translucent. Season with black pepper and stir in the chilli (add more than a teaspoon if you like a bit of heat). Take the pan off the heat and stir in the baby spinach. Serve with a sprinkle of feta and basil leaves.

3 thoughts on “Quinoa and veggie mush”

  1. Looks like a great dish!
    Do you know if you can get black quinoa in Cape Town? I’ve only ever managed to find the white grain.

  2. Hi Tegan, I don’t know if you can get black quinoa in Cape Town. I’ve only ever bought white and red quinoa (which you can get at Pick n Pay and health shops). Let me know if you manage to find black quinoa!

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