Quick Quinoa and Vegetable Bowl (à la Café Gratitude)

In several locations in California (both Northern and Southern) there is a great vegan café called Café Gratitude.  Its raw and cooked vegan and vegetarian items are thoughtfully prepared, and delicious.   One item on the menu that Kathrin and I love is the vegetable grain bowl.  This week we pay homage to that delicious dish with our own preparation – the Quick Quinoa and Vegetable bowl.  This dish, while not quite a 15 minute “Dinner Winner”, deserves to be in that category for it’s simple preparation, easy adaptability, and delicious results.

I made this dish for Kathrin when I was visiting her a few weeks back.  It was right in the middle of her very busy school parent duties, so I played the good friend and made her dinner.  (Kathrin is usually the one making me dinner, so I probably owe her one or two.)  We’d both been so busy that while a good meal was important, prep time was limited.  So, I bought a bunch of vegetables (leeks, broccolini, carrots, kale, a pepper, and mushrooms), supplemented with a few things from her house (a half an onion, a tomato, some broth and lots of turmeric), and went to work.

Here’s how I made the meal simple: first I put a cup of quinoa in a pot with two cups of water and a pinch of salt and set it to boil.  Then I chopped all of the vegetables, sautéed the leeks and onions with some salt and pepper, and then added all of the vegetables to the pan. I added two heaping tablespoons of turmeric and a cup of broth, and covered it, letting it cook on a low flame for 20 minutes.  I stirred it every so often.  When the quinoa was done, I split it between two bowls and ladled the soupy vegetable mix on top, and dinner was served. If keeping it simple makes your life more challenging, however, I’ve included a recipe with some tips and tricks for making sure your Quick Quinoa and Vegetable Bowl ala Café Gratitude is easy and delicious.  Come and cook with us!

Quick Quinoa and Vegetable Bowl

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