Last updated on October 7th, 2019 at 06:55 am
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.
Tomato Basil Quinoa Risotto
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 prepare 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.
This healthy tomato and basil quinoa risotto is tasty, and super easy to make in about 10 minutes! Makes this quinoa recipe the perfect weeknight dinner.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 4 fresh tomatoes, small to medium-sized
- 3 sun dried tomatoes, soaked for 30min
- 1-2 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!