Garden Vegetable Quinoa Risotto

This is just the beginning of the mass quantities of zucchini we’ll be harvesting this summer.

ZucchiniWith all the rain we’ve had in the past month and a half the garden has gone NUTS!!!  Soon, we’ll be up to our eyeballs in tomatoes, jalapenos, zucchini, spaghetti squash, green beans and okra.

At one of Tucker’s baseball games I was discussing my need for different ways to cook all the zucchini.  My friend and fellow gardener, Sara told me about shredding the zucchini and cooking it like a risotto with quinoa.  Sounded pretty amazing so I gave it a whirl last night.

I was NOT disappointed! DSC_0040 copyI’ve been trying really hard not to salt my food.  The water retention has become a real issue in recent months and I’m working toward being more vigilant in keeping my intake low.  You’ll notice that my recipe doesn’t have any added salt.  I did use my No Salt to add a bit of the salt flavor to it.  If water retention isn’t an issue for you, by all means salt it as you see fit.

Garden Vegetable Quinoa Risotto

1 small zucchini, shredded
2 small carrots, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 Roma tomatoes diced
1 cup quinoa
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, warm
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp.
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning
Fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Add 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil to a medium/large skillet. Add zucchini, carrots, garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Season with fresh pepper, Mrs. Dash and lemon pepper. (You may add salt if you like.) Remove the vegetable from the pan and add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Add the quinoa to the skillet and toast lightly for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the quinoa is toasted add the vegetable back to the pan and stir to combine. Add enough broth to just cover the quinoa and veggies. Bring to a steady simmer. Simmer until the liquids start to absorb. Keep adding small amounts of the broth the quinoa. Do this until the quinoa is cooked through. Add the lemon juice, peas and tomatoes. Continue to simmer until the liquid is almost gone. When the liquid has reduced by half add the Parmesan cheese and stir until creamy. Continue to simmer to thicken slightly. Serve hot with a lemon wedge.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can add ANY vegetables that you like.  My vegetable drawer is a little on the lacking side this week so I used what I had.  I think wilted spinach or kale would be an amazing addition.  Add a grilled chicken breast or shrimp and you have an even heartier meal.

The skinny per serving: (recipe yields 4 servings) 345 calories, 46 grams carbs, 12 grams fat (only 3 grams saturated fat), 14 grams protein, 9 grams sugars, 562 mg sodium, 6 grams fiber and just for an added bonus… 88% of daily allowance of Vitamin A and 90% of daily allowance of Vitamin C.

WOOOO-HOOOOO!!!!  Don’t let the high carbs scare you away.  This is quinoa.  It’s considered a grain…. which are carbs.  This is a whole grain.  GOOD FOR YOU CARBS!!!!  Look at the great source of fiber, protein and vitamins!!!

I encourage you to give this recipe a try, especially if you have a garden this year.  It’s a great “dumping ground” for everything under the sun!


Peace, love and veggie heaven!!!

(Yes, I just noticed that I have an extra “c” in my photo.  I was too tired to fix it.  Please forgive me.)



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