Sunday, August 8, 2010

Quinoa with Summer Vegetables and Cajun Shrimp

I'm having so much fun experimenting with new ways to prepare quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). With the most complete proteins of any grain, and a great source of vitamins and minerals - iron, magnesium, Vitamin E, potassium, amino acids, and fiber - quinoa is an ideal food for any kind of diet! Quinoa is simple to cook, very much like rice, taking as little as 15-20 minutes.  You can easily substitute this outrageously healthy seed in any of your favorite rice or couscous recipes. 

This recipe is really all about celebrating the produce in your local farmer's market.  You can substitute with whatever veggies happen to be in season.  This dish works wonderfully as a main course or sans-shrimp for an impressive side dish.

Quinoa with Summer Vegetables and Cajun Shrimp
Serves 4

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Sea salt
2 zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 bunch of kale, deveined and chopped into bite size pieces
3 tablespoons harrissa
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup green olives, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons cajun seasoning (such as Chef Paul's Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Place quinoa in a bowl, fill with cold water and wash well. Drain quinoa and repeat.

3. Toss shrimp with cajun seasoning, set aside.

4.  In a small pot over high heat, bring the chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, and ginger to a bowl.  Add quinoa.  Once mixture is boiling cover, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

5.  Meanwhile, place zucchini, peppers and cherry tomatoes on a foil lined cookie sheet. Spray with cooking sray, sprinkle with sea salt (or vegetable seasoning) and toss to combine.  Put in oven and roast 20 to 25 minutes, stirring half way. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

6.  Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat over high heat.  Add red onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Lower heat to medium and cook about 10 minutes or until onions are caramelized.  Add a pinch of salt, stir and remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

7.  Using the same skillet, cook shrimp over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes or just until done.

8.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Place kale in a pot for 15 seconds and remove quickly

9.  Spoon harissa in a small bowl, add lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar and olive oil.  Stir well and set aside.

10.   Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl and spread out to cool completely. Add roasted vegetables, kale, and shrimp, gently toss to combine. Drizzle harissa over and mix again.

11.  Transfer to a serving bowl; top with shredded cheese, olives, and cilantro.


  1. You are cooking some of the most wonderful dishes. We would have loved to try all of your latest posted recipes. This one sounds delicious as well. Great job you are doing here!!

  2. GASP!!! You put kale in here?!? I'm still scared of using it in any method other than chips...

    ps...great photo!


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