Cheesy Quinoa with Spinach and Pine Nuts

by Meri on April 27, 2012

Ahhh…I love the flavor of quinoa and I have a real love affair with goat cheese, put them together and you have a winning combination! This is a very quick and easy side dish that goes great with any meal. Quinoa is actually a small seed and a member of the spinach family although most people consider it a grain because it cooks similarly and has the same texture. It is high in minerals and a good source of fiber and folate, not to mention a complete protein for those vegetarians out there.

I like this particular quinoa recipe for my little ones because the melted goat cheese sort of “forms” the quinoa for easier spooning so they don’t get little, itty-bitty, tiny, wet quinoa particles all over the floor that even your trusty Labrador can’t lick up. If you’ve been here before you’ll know what I mean…beyond messy! And of course if your kids are like mine, picky eaters, the spinach is big enough for them to pull out. You can also try different veggie combinations to suit your particular taste. I’m thinking of diced zucchini and halved cherry tomatoes next time. Sun dried tomatoes would also be delicious!


Cheesy Quinoa with Spinach and Pine Nuts

Preparation time: 5 minutes       Cooking time: 28 minutes        Yield: 8 servings

1/4th cup pine nuts

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 ¾ cups vegetable broth

1/4th cup water

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot, chopped

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4th cup crumbled goat cheese

Salt to taste


1    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread pine nuts on cookie sheet and bake until toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2    Bring the broth and water to boil in medium saucepan. Add the quinoa, turn down heat and simmer, covered, until tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.

3    Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.

4    Mix shallots, spinach, lemon juice, and pine nuts into quinoa until spinach is wilted. Add cheese and mix until melted. Serve immediately.

Per serving: Calories 175 (From Fat 62); Glycemic Load 9 (Low); Fat 7g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 4 mg; Sodium 214 mg; Carbohydrate 23 g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 7g.

Recipe from Glycemic Index Cookbook for Dummies, Wiley, 2010


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Marla April 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I really love this dish!!!


Marcia April 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Not enough goat cheese! Can’t have goat cheese right now anyway.


Meri April 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Oh…I’m all for adding more goat cheese. Maybe make an addendum…goat cheese to taste!


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