Food Is Not Your Enemy

Quinoa Chowder with Spinach, Feta, and Scallions

Any of you who regularly read my blog know by now that when I post a recipe, I tend to intro it by saying that it’s one of my favorites and my kids love it too. So I won’t say that anymore–just assume that if you see a recipe on “Food Is Not Your Enemy,” it’s one I love, one that’s in regular rotation in my household, and one that I recommend to my clients.

That said, here’s the latest. This dish is such a great way to begin a relationship with quinoa if you’ve never had it before.

 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well in a fine sieve

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin or to taste

Salt and freshly milled pepper

1/2 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes

1 bunch scallions, including an inch of the greens, thinly sliced into rounds

3 cups finely sliced spinach leaves

1/4 pound feta cheese, finely diced or crumbled

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 hard-cooked egg, chopped

Put the quinoa and 2 quarts water in a pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. While it’s cooking, dice the vegetables and cheese. Drain, saving the liquid. Measure the liquid and add water to make 6 cups if needed.

Heal the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and chile. Cook for about 30 seconds, giving it a quick stir. Add the cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and the potatoes and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Don’t let the garlic brown. Add the quinoa water and half the scallions and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the quinoa, spinach, and remaining scallions and simmer for 3 minutes more. Turn off the heat and stir in the feta and cilantro. Season the soup with pepper and garnish with the chopped egg.

Serves 4.

(Recipe from “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison)