Delicious & Easy Quinoa Recipe (It's What the Cool Kids Are Doing!)

I am a self professed lover of quinoa (pronounced ki:nwa). This Peruvian grain is the powerhouse replacement for pasta or rice. Not only can it blend in beautifully with any sauce or flavor, it is packed full of protein, gluten-free and only takes 10-15 minutes to make. It comes in traditional white form, red and black. I encourage trying them all, but have created a recipe to start with the traditional white. This recipe is easy, crisp and delicious! Vegetarians feel free to replace chicken broth with vegetable and loose the shrimp as the meal would go just fine without an extra protein.

Enjoy, and remember it’s not ‘kah-no-ah’, it’s ‘ki:nwa’ and it’s what all the cool kids are doing.
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup quinoa, soaked
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced + 1/2 reserved
  • 8 large whole uncooked shrimp
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil + dollop for quinoa (Lucini)
  • 1 T butter + knob for quinoa (Plugra)
  • 1 3/4 cup free range organic chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 small bunch basil, sliced
  • sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
 
Instructions:

Soak your quinoa anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. This process makes the grain easier to digest. Dry the quinoa and place in a warm pot. Toast on medium heat, stirring often until lightly golden. Add 1 3/4 cups broth, knob of butter and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Stir for a moment, reduce heat to low and cover for about 15 minutes, checking in until the quinoa is fluffy.

Peel and remove the tail from the shrimp. Dice into bite size piece and place into a bath of cool water and 1/2 lemon juice. The lemon will remove that ‘fishy’ odor from your kitchen as you prepare the food.

Remove the fronds (reserve for garnish) and stems from the fennel bulb. Rinse well and dice. Peel two garlic cloves and mince. Set these guys aside and melt your butter in a medium to large saute pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil and fennel bulb. Saute until tender or translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes for another 2 minutes. Drain your shrimp and toss them in for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Reduce heat to low adding lemon juice, cheese, salt and pepper until the Romano has blended in. Pour contents into a large serving bowl with the quinoa and mix well. Fold in the basil and garnish with any additional salt/pepper, lemon zest or cheese. Add the fennel fronds for a sweet presentation. Enjoy!