A Roommate Inspired Dinner

August 21, 2011 at 8:00 am 4 comments

Every good post about your roommate starts with an embarrassing picture…IMG_4196

Roommate dinners will soon be back in full swing! I am so looking forward to these – we don’t simply share a meal but life together as we sit and talk for hours at the dining room table. I don’t think either of us realized how much we valued these times together until we no longer had them! Ten weeks apart over the summer meant 5 hours of non-stop chatter in the car as we drove back to Boston after completing the NYC triathlon.


This dinner was the brain child of my lovely roommate, a really good cook despite her lack of confidence as such. It has been so much fun watching her grow and experiment in the kitchen over the past year! She made this for us and her sister, brother, and his fiance in a tiny studio apartment in Manhattan the night before our triathlon. Limited in both space and spices, the meal still turned out wonderfully and was great pre-race fuel. I hardly changed anything when I made it again this past week in Boston. You could call it a stewed quinoa, or a quinoa and greens pilaf, or a use-up-those-veggies one-pot meal… no matter what you call it, it is really simple, tasty, and healthy! Some of the liquid from the tomatoes cooks into the quinoa, giving it more flavor. The veggies can be subbed for what you have (spinach for the kale, +/- broccoli, less onions, more carrot – whatever you would like!) You can also kick up the spiciness with a bit of Sriracha sauce, or leave it out for the more faint of heart (you can tell I like my spicy food!). Even better – one pot means easy clean up. Basically, there is no way to go wrong with this one. Learn from my roommate and try something new in the kitchen tonight!

Question: Who does most of the cooking in your house?


Marie’s Stewed Quinoa

serves 5-6

1 cup quinoa

28 oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid

1 2/3 cup water

1/3 cup chopped carrots

3/4 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp red chili flakes

1 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 bunch kale

Mince the garlic and the onions. Sautee in olive oil in medium heat until the onions become soft. Add the carrots and tomatoes. Add the quinoa and allow to absorb the liquid from the tomatoes. Top with 1 2/3 cup water and season with red chili flakes. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until quinoa is cooked and the liquid is mostly absorbed. Before it is fully cooked, add the washed and chopped kale (or greens of choice) and allow to wilt in. Season to taste with nutritional yeast (optional) and salt. For extra spice, add Sriracha sauce after serving.


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In Defense of Snacks Overnight Oats

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide  |  August 21, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Hee, hee. I feel silly answering that, because I think everyone knows. But I do most of the cooking in my house. Great looking dish.

    • 2. jenlenew  |  August 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      Thanks! Loved your post about your kitchen! I wish my kitchen had more open space like that!

  • 3. realfunfood  |  August 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Totally random, but I ate a restaurant in DC that mixed sriracha with some mayo – unlikely combo but so good.

    • 4. jenlenew  |  August 21, 2011 at 10:18 pm

      My aunt does that to make spicy tuna rolls for sushi! I’m in the camp that thinks sriracha makes everything better :)


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