Spinach and Parmesan Quinoa. A delicious, healthy side dish that’s sure to please and goes with everything from grilled chicken and fish to baked pork chops. This would also make a terrific vegetarian lunch idea or included as part of a Meatless Monday supper.
I always say, you cannot have enough side dish recipes. When those side dishes happen to be both healthy and delicious, then that statement is doubly true.
We have been using quinoa for several years now as a more nutritious alternative to rice. We even adapt recipes to use it that way, like in our Egg Fried Quinoa with Shrimp.
I love recipes like that because they can be meals in themselves. Perfect for a light lunch or supper.
Quinoa outshines many seeds and grains in nutritional value. It is high fibre, low fat, gluten free and has many essential minerals, so including it as part of a healthy diet is a no-brainer.
This time around, Spouse came up with this terrific side dish, with added parmesan and the extra nutrition of wilted spinach. I particularly like this one with grilled fish but it can be a delicious side dish with many meals like grilled chicken or pork.
Here’s to healthy and tasty eating!
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Originally published March 2014. Updated August 2020.
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Spinach and Parmesan Quinoa. A delicious, healthy side dish that's sure to please and goes with everything from grilled chicken and fish to baked pork chops. This would also make a terrific vegetarian lunch idea or included as part of a Meatless Monday supper.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 small minced shallot (or 1/2 a small red onion)
- 1 small red, yellow or orange bell pepper
- 1/2 cup pitted olives (optional)
- 1 small diced de-seeded tomato
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- Bring the quinoa, salt and water to a boil over low heat.
- Cover and simmer very slowly for 15 to 20 minutes until the grains are cooked but still a little firm to the bite.
- As in cooking rice, I like to keep the pot covered tightly, turn off the burner in the last five minutes and let it it sit: then fluff with a fork when it's done.
- In a wok or large saute pan add the olive oil, minced garlic and shallot.
- Saute for a moment to soften the shallot and garlic then add the bell pepper, olives, tomato and black pepper.
- Saute for only a minute or to heat the peppers through, then remove from the heat and toss in the Parmesan cheese and spinach leaves.
- Toss together well until the spinach wilts and serve immediately with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and shards of Parmesan as a garnish.
Amount Per Serving Calories 156Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 4mgSodium 401mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 5g
The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.