Just for Fun

Easy Quinoa Dinner

Wednesday. Hump Day. The middle of the week. The halfway point. And, oddly enough, the day known as the day we wear pink…I mean eat quinoa.

Coming home from 3 lectures, (Nutrition Education/Counseling, Biochemistry, and Community Nutrition) I was more than ready for a little nap. However, piles of homework stacking up persuaded me otherwise, so I went to my typical tea ritual. A nice hot cup of Earl Grey tea for a bit of motivation…although, sadly, I enjoyed decaf (a purchase made on accident, which was catastrophic upon discovery. Really, what is the point of decaf?)

I’m always looking forward to dinner, and today was no different. Quick meals are my “go-to” as a busy college student. 30 minutes in the kitchen prepping is usually my maximum time for dinner prep. Today, the box of quinoa and rice I had bought over the weekend was speaking to me.

It’s a prepackaged mix (so a little more sodium than I’d like, but we do what we can around here) of garlic and basil. 1-3/4 cup of water, 1 tsp of olive oil, and the quinoa and rice mix are brought to a boil. Heat is immediately reduced to medium, and the flavoring mix is added. Another 15 minutes or so on a low boil should cook the quinoa and rice just fine.

I’ve had about a dozen fresh tomatoes in my fridge for the past week, because as a volunteer in the WVU Greenhouse, I was able to take any of the fruit I plucked. So, naturally, I’ve consumed about 15 tomatoes within the last two weeks (really stocking up on lutein & lycopene). In my fridge today were 2 more tomatoes, so I figured I’d get some use out of those by cutting up the smaller tomato into slices and placing those slices on a baking sheet in the oven. A little oven-roasted tomatoes would add some necessary veggies to this meal!

I’m a huge cheese lover, so it had to make an appearance at some point. When the quinoa and rice were cooked and the tomatoes added, I added a sprinkling of feta cheese to the mix… yum!

I’m also a firm believer in making your food look as appetizing as it tastes. The picture on the box was so pretty with a few basil leaves garnishing the dish. Thus, I quickly added two leaves of spinach to top off my creation.

Ta-da! A tasty and easy dinner in under a half hour!

Basil, garlic, tomato, and feta cheese quinoa and rice mix garnished with spinach leaves.

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