This tomato and basil quinoa risotto for one, takes ridiculously little time and makes a very easy, super healthy lunch or dinner! The recipe is gluten-free, but I did put some Mozzarella cheese, so if you’re vegan or live dairy-free – just leave the cheese out, mkay? It’s just as good. This quinoa risotto is also a good source of protein, antioxidants and suitable for weight loss.
Quinoa is back in my life and I think it’s here to stay. I haven’t made any recipe with quinoa for a looooong time now, so I’m very excited to share this one with you. It’s so simple, but soooo good. Something like a risotto, but not really. Because it’s not rice and because you don’t have to stir until you get old and your hair gets grey (which wouldn’t really affect me – mine is grey since I was 17).
The best part is: you don’t have to worry someone’s gonna make you cry on Masterchef. Now, I don’t know if you ever watched Masterchef, but for a while I was OBSESSED with that freakin’ show. Even though everything is obviously very very very VERY staged.
I was watching it without blinking, my heart beating really fast, wondering what’s gonna happen, even though it was obvious: nothing. Nothing’s gonna happen. But, um…during the dreaded pressure test? After all it’s a DREADED pressure test??
No. Nothing really EVER happened on that show. Still, I would watch it for a few hours, if you play it to me right now.
Okay, now I forgot…how did we end up here?
That’s right, risotto!
Until this very day – every time I say “risotto” my brainwashed self thinks of the Masterchef judge, who was always spitting out the contestant food. I forgot his name and it’s making me crazy. Anyway, he was so particular with his risottos: Never good enough.
Wonder if he would spit out this quinoa risotto. Probably, after all it’s a QUINOA risotto. How dare I?
But, we’ll never know. That judge wouldn’t have the chance, because I ate it all. Because it was only one serving. Yes, I was cooking just for myself, so I made one serving.
So if you’re going to enjoy this in the company of another human and not while scrolling through your phone – then lucky you gets to double or quadruple the ingredients.
Options and Notes
As for meal prep: you can try freezing this recipe or keeping it in the fridge for a few days. But no promises here – I haven’t tested this. As you know: I HATE meal prep. The only things I prep are my grains or legumes, if I do it at all.
However, if you have some cooked quinoa – this healthy recipe comes together in about 10 min.
I used just a tiny clove of garlic, but you can add more garlic if you like. I would, but I was going out later, so I decided to spare the people around me the stank. Even though I had a fun evening, I still think “giving up” garlic was not worth it. It never is. You know I love garlic. Garlic 4 president and king. And world leader.
Also I know, some of you might say – cheese, no, forbidden, FORBIDDEN!!! Well I say – cheese yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum. Don’t hate. I was craving cheese like an insane person. Okay, I was craving cheese and pizza and pasta all at the same time. Now listen. I can deal with not eating gluten, even though we all know it’s the best tasting thing in the world…But gluten and cheese? I can’t cut out everything at once. But I will next week, because I’m starting a little diet challenge and I am horrified. And excited. And confused.
The point is: for all my vegan and dairy-free friends – you can totally leave the cheese out or use a vegan cheese substitute instead. With or without cheese – this is delicious and you’ll enjoy it.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 4 fresh tomatoes, small to medium-sized
- 3 sun dried tomatoes, soaked for 30min
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small zucchini or 1/2 large
- handful basil
- handful arugula
- 1 garlic clove
- some mozzarella
- some parmesan
- For tomato sauce: Blend 2 fresh tomatoes with the sundried tomatoes (soaked before), basil and garlic. I used a hand blender for this step, but you can use any food processor you have available.
- Chop the other two fresh tomatoes and zucchini.
- In a medium-sized pan add the chopped tomatoes with 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook for 1 min. Then add the tomato sauce you just made. Stir in the quinoa, for about 1-2 minutes and mix well.
- Add zucchini and arugula - again mix well. Add some more olive oil.
- Turn off heat and add the cheese (optional). And you’re done. Most efficient 10 min of your life, right? If you’d like make a salad or a smoothie to go with this healthy dish 🙂
If you bought some quinoa long time ago and it’s collecting dust, because you didn’t know what to do with that ancient grain…now you know. I made this recipe very spontaneously and did not plan to share it, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to ask and let me know how it goes!