Lemon Zucchini Quinoa

Have you stared at the quinoa in the grocery store and thought to yourself: “I know this is supposed to be good for me, but I have no idea what to make with it”?  Let’s face it, this trendy new grain is really bland prepared alone.  I suppose it HAS to be bland as it falls into the “good for you” food category (see this super food list if you don’t believe me).  So I jazz it up with as much still-good-for-you-flavor as I can and I’ve discovered you can turn this boring grain into an excellent side dish.

For this side you’ll need:

  • 1 C Quinoa
  • 2 C Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 2 Zucchinis (small to medium size)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 T Lemon juice
  • 4 Scallions, chopped white and green parts
  • 1 T + 1 t Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

First, begin heating your grill.  I generally am grilling some chicken as the main when I’m making this dish so the grill is already on, but if you’re just making the side, you may want to consider using a grill pan.

Bring the quinoa and stock to a boil on the stove.  Some people will tell you to rinse the quinoa first, but I haven’t really noticed that big of a difference between rinsed and un-rinsed. The rinsing only creates another dirty dish and all those little seeds get stuck in my strainer!  But if you feel like the dish is a bit bitter, pre-wash next time.

Once you’ve got the stock boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and set the timer for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, wash and slice your zucchini vertically.  Coat with 1 t of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  

Set on a medium grill for 5 minutes on each side.  

While the zucchini is cooking, wash and slice the scallions and add them to a bowl along with the zest and lemon juice and a bit of salt and pepper. 

After they’ve cooked, pull your zucchini off the grill and allow them to cool just a bit.  Slice into bite size chunks and add them to the bowl with the lemon and scallions.  Top with the cooked quinoa and stir the mixture together.  The lemon scent will be amazing with the warm quinoa and zucchini!

Add salt and pepper to your taste and you’re ready to go! 

This side dish is delicious warm or cold and reheats nicely.  With lemons and zucchini so cheap in the store right now, go out and make this tonight!

–Martta

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