Serves 2 – 6, depending on whether or not you serve this as a main or a side dish.
Note: Parmesan is never vegetarian, it always includes calf's rennet which is a meat product. If you're a strict vegetarian or if you're cooking for a strict vegetarian you need to substitute a different type of cheese of look for a different recipe. See Cheeses that aren't vegetarian for more.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (more is even better, I love garlic!)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup milk
- 8 oz portobello or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- ¾ – 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- Rinse and drain quinoa thoroughly. This first step is necessary to remove the saponins, and involves soaking the grain in water for a few hours, then changing the water and resoaking, or rinsing it in ample running water either in a fine strainer or in cheesecloth. Removing the saponins helps with digestion; the soapy nature of the compound makes it act as a laxative. Most boxed quinoa has been pre-rinsed for convenience, but check your box carefully before deciding you don't need to rinse the quinoa.
- Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and cook until soft, stirring constantly.
- Add garlic and quinoa and continue stirring a minute or two.
- Stir in broth and milk. (Soy milk may also work and will provide more balanced protein. I haven't tried it yet.)
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until quinoa is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cook another 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove from heat.
- Add cheese and let stand a few minutes, so risotto can thicken. (If you can't get vegetarian parmesan where you live vegetarian cheddar cheese can substitute in most recipes. If it's put in earlier it tastes less distinctively like cheddar cheese.)