Quinoa Risotto with Tomato, Basil, Lemon & Hazelnuts

I'm a quinoa convert, no longer on the fence, I'm ready to shout QUINOA from the roof tops and you know what?  it's one of those words which is just begging to be echoed from the highest mountain "Keen- wah, wah, wah!".

Technically speaking, quinoa is not a grain as it is derived from the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant, a close relative to spinach. I'd never heard of the Goosefoot plant before I learnt about Quinoa.  It's not something that comes up in everyday conversation unless you're a botanist. Apparently some of the species in the genus have leaves that resemble the foot of a goose so that's where it receives its unusual moniker.

I love to use quinoa in my recipes as it's super healthy and a great source of protein and amino acids as well as containing vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, potassium, and riboflavin. Quinoa also provides your body with copper, zinc, magnesium, and folate, so it really is a nutritional feast and tasty too.  Because of its unique versatility, you can use  quinoa in casseroles, soups, stir fries and salads and it can be substituted for rice or grains in most dishes. You can even use it for porridge at breakfast time if you're so inclined.

If you want to give quinoa a toasted flavour and to create more depth to dishes, why not try dry roasting it in a pan before use?.  Quinoa is readily available in supermarkets and not just in health food stores, which now makes it more accessible for anyone wanting to cook up a delicious quinoan delight.

This gorgeously lighter-than-traditional-risotto dish is a flavoursome, yet hearty meal and perfect for lunch or dinner or even a side dish.  Supremely gnoshable and easy to throw together, you can mix and match the vegetables included to suit your personal taste, soiree  or seasonal style. The lemon makes it zesty and with a burst of citrusy zing and the yeast flakes add to its nuttiness and provide a wonderfully cheesy taste and extra B vitamins too.

Here's all you'll need to be in quinoa heaven.

Serves 4

1 cup quinoa uncooked rinsed in sieve
1/2 cup hazelnuts or almonds optional roughly crushed (save a few whole for garnish)
2-3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
1 brown onion chopped
1/2 cup yellow zucchini chopped
4 TBS nutritional yeast flakes
1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 can chopped tomatoes no additives
I cup baby spinach leaves washed
I TBS freshly chopped rosemary, oregano, thyme
¼ cup fresh torn basil (optional)
1 TBS lemon zest
2 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp Celtic Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Let's Get Cracking:

In a large saucepan sauté onion and garlic in EV olive oil on medium heat until translucent, stirring often
To the pan add yellow zucchini and nuts and cook for a couple of minutes until slightly browned

Mixing it Up

Push mixture to side of pan, add quinoa and stir for a minute until slightly crispy then mix
Turn up heat and over a few minutes gradually add stock or water to cover the quinoa, stirring consistently until all the quinoa is absorbed, add one cup at a time, letting each one absorb
Add tomatoes, and spinach, herbs and seasonings, lemon and zest and ACV

A Risotto Rainbow

Cook for 10-15 minutes until quinoa is tender but still slightly al dente
Remove from heat and stir through yeast flakes and serve in earthenware wide mouth bowls
Garnish with nuts and basil and enjoy


22 Responses to “Quinoa Risotto with Tomato, Basil, Lemon & Hazelnuts”

  1. yum i love quinoa and this looks delish!

  2. Sophie33 says:

    Indeed! Delicioso!! I want to make this tasty dish this evening!

    If you are interested, Ia while ago, I made a quinoa , butternut squash & red beans & chili. here is the link: http://sophiesfoodiefiles.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/sophies-vegetarian-butternut-squash-quinoa-red-beans-chili/

    I think you will like it!

  3. Alex from Germany says:

    In my country, we eat too much potato. Now it seems I always carry the potato sack around my stomach. This is what you call a metaphor. I mean I am fat man. Your recipe is for me like a CALL FROM THE ANGELS. I will try and hope every day to lose one little potato and at the same time a better brain. Then I will be able to smile more. (This might bring a new challenge. I must fix my teeth. My teenager she is having the bonding but it is always falling off.)

    • Alex, yes too many potatoes will do that to you! And you sound like you could benefit from the healthy and nutrient rich recipes on supercharged.wpengine.com The recipes filled with calcium rich properties will help with your teeth situation too, and your daughters!.

  4. Evelyn Scofield says:

    Thank you, for the recipes. I am excited to try this one too. Tomorrow I hope to try the lemon poppy muffins. And than this one.

  5. Followed to a T, well, except that I realized I forgot to put the cider vinegar in when cleaning up! Awesome recipe, thank you!

  6. shinejewelry says:

    Love that it is hot…..most quinoa recipes are for salads – thanks!!

  7. Sanjeeta kk says:

    I heard you shouting Quinoa, Lee! As I am a Q fan too. Have just now done a Risotto using B.rice and am up for this Risotto too.

  8. Jill says:

    Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. Hope to see you next week!


  9. Ella says:

    I just made this dish for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!

  10. Jessica says:

    what is the difference between yellow zucchini and normal zucchini?

    • lee says:

      They are the same in terms of flavour and texture in cooking but the green is a zucchini and the yellow is summer squash.

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