Short on time and short on ideas.  With my husband gone, three wild and hungry kids and two crazy dogs that wouldn’t stop barking, my house was turning into a circus yet again.  The easy solution would’ve been to give the kids a PB&J sandwich and call it a day.  That’s not a bad choice, and there are days when that is just the reality, but in 25 minutes or so, I could do better.  And if I can do this, so can you!

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is one of my favorite go-to’s.  If you haven’t embraced it yet, try it!  It cooks quickly and can be eaten plain or with any mix-ins you like to make a sweet or savory dish.  Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse – it has a full amino acid profile making it a great vegetarian protein source.

Anyway, here’s how I did better for myself and my kids:

Quinoa

  • I rinsed 1 cup of organic, whole grain quinoa in a fine sieve.  It’s important to rinse quinoa thoroughly.
  • I put the quinoa in a pot with 2 cups of water, a pinch of salt, covered the pot and brought it to a boil.
  • Once boiling, I reduced the heat to low and let it simmer while I worked on the vegetables.

Veggies

  • I chopped 1 onion and added to a pan with 2 tbsp or so of tamari. (You could use coconut oil as well – I added water as needed instead.)

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  • I let those cook while I peeled and chopped a few carrots and chopped a yellow pepper (red would’ve been prettier, but yellow is what I had – Use whatever veggies you have!!)

Meanwhile, my kids sat in the kitchen and ate bananas and yellow pepper and carrots that I was chopping, and then proceeded to run around the house.  This has been a common occurrence in our house lately – Sully chases the girls while making his police siren noise.  I’m starting to get used to it.

  • I added the carrots and peppers to the pan and added a little water as the onions were starting to stick.
  • I added a tbsp or so of dried basil, 1 of dried oregano and a bit of freshly ground black pepper.

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  • While that continued to cook, I chopped a couple handfuls of spinach and added to the pan.

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Put it together

The quinoa is quick.  It only takes 15-20 minutes and is done once the water is absorbed.  Remove the quinoa from the heat and let sit for a minute, then fluff with a fork.  Taste the veggies and add a bit more tamari if needed.  Add the veggies to the quinoa and combine.

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That’s it!  My kids and I ate this with salad and a little bit of leftover tempeh stir fry.  They got a few cashews on their plate too.  Why not.  (Yes, I do use Christmas plates all year long.)

Was this the most impressive dish I’ve ever made?  No.  Did I feel good about feeding it my kids?  Absolutely.

Are you thinking your kids won’t eat this?  You may be.  I thought that once too.   Sully had two helpings of quinoa, Amelia ate hers only if I separated out the carrots, and Natalie ate hers only after I reminded her that strong hockey players eat their quinoa.  Every day is different with kids. . .do what you have to do!

More on that topic soon. . .