Sweet & Savory Quinoa

Food memory time:

When I was about 13 (so, about 1993) my mom made this grain, quinoa, to go with dinner one time that looked a little… weird. It certainly wasn’t rice, nor was it cous cous or millet… it was sort of round, it had this funny “tail” thing, and it had a much different flavor than any other grain I’d had before. I don’t remember how we pronounced the name of it though. Kwin-oh-wah I think.

Fast forward to 2006 and I joined Weight Watchers again. All whole grains were on this new “Core” plan I was following and I rediscovered quinoa, which by the way, is pronounced “keen-wah” and is taken from the Quetchua (Peruvian native tribe) word for the grain. I’ve been eating the stuff ever since. I guess I’m what could be called a quinoa hipster… I ate the stuff “before it was cool.” Anyway, this recipe came from those 2006 recipe days, when my good friend Jenny sent me her favorite way to make it. I forgot how excellent this recipe was. It makes a ton, which is great for lunches and quick dinners since it’s delicious both hot and cold.

quinoa salad

I picked a perfect evening to break out this old favorite recipe because my friend, new neighbor, and fellow blogger Lauren joined me for dinner! She walked in with a bottle of red wine and container of sea salt caramel gelato… does anyone even need anything more?


We had so much fun just hanging out, and she loved the quinoa! Guess you might want that recipe then, huh?

Sweet & Savory Quinoa

by What’s For Dinner?

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Keywords: simmer quinoa

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

  • 2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced (optional)
  • 1 pint baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons


Cook the quinoa in the chicken broth. I use a rice cooker, but stove-top works fine, just bring the quinoa and broth to a slow simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.

Add the shallot and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook until they just start to release liquid.

Add the broccoli, chicken, garlic powder, and oregano, stir and cover until cooked, about 8 minutes.

Add the chopped roasted red peppers, and remove the mixture from the heat.

Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl.

Add the chicken/broccoli mixture to the quinoa, add the cranberries and goat cheese, and finish off with the juice of 2 lemons.

Enjoy hot or cold.

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 The sweet/tart flavor of the cranberries, the creaminess of the goat cheese, and the savory flavors of the vegetables and herbs made for a delicious and satisfying meal. We of course finished the meal off with a scoop of the gelato topped with chocolate chips…the sub-zero temperatures outside made a trip for fro-yo just totally unrealistic. I’m truly enjoying having a great bloggie friend so close!!

Don’t forget to vote for my cupcake EVERY DAY!!!


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3 Responses to Sweet & Savory Quinoa

  1. Lauren says:

    Yep, my stamp of sincere approval on this one. I enjoyed it again today for lunch…so so good! Thanks again for having me over last night. Next sushi date is on me! xoxo
    Lauren´s last blog post ..Friday Confessions

  2. Marianne says:

    I love the combination of flavours you have going on there. I made a sweet & sour quinoa salad last week that used raisins and feta, and it was delish. Great minds think alike. I just need to make it again so I can post about it :)
    Marianne´s last blog post ..Insight Into Internship – Part 7

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