I am always looking for new and exciting ways to enjoy quinoa and have recently come up with this Vegetable Quinoa with Paneer recipe. Apart from being new it’s also pretty exciting (I know it’s subjective but there are good reasons for it – read on). If you find quinoa quite boring and bland and struggle to make it part of your everyday diet (and enjoy it!) this dish might turn things around for you. The quinoa is infused with a mixture of spice and vegetable flavour that’s rich while keeping the calories down. No more boring quinoa that everyone raves about only you never understood what the hype is about!
This is a vegetarian dish which can be enjoyed as a side or main dish (you can even make it vegan by omitting the paneer). If you don’t need it to be vegetarian it is also delicious with grilled chicken. It tastes great the next day too though you might have to add a drop of water as it will thicken. I used coconut oil in this recipe as it’s sweet and helps to offset the sourness of the tomatoes. My other ‘sweet’ ingredients are red onion, carrot and red pepper, which are tried and tested ingredients in tomato based dishes.
I thought the paneer cheese would be an interesting addition to this simple vegetarian dish – it has a soft texture (which, by the way, doesn’t disappear when you crisp it up) and a pleasant sweet flavour, which is ideal in this dish. Plus it looks so pretty against the red colour! The combination of the vegetables, quinoa and the cheese makes this recipe a convenient and healthy weeknight dinner idea – all in one satisfying easy dish. Enjoy!
If you liked this recipe go to < THIS > link for more vegetarian recipe ideas:)
Yields 6 portions
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 225 g fresh paneer cheese, cubed (patted dry with paper towel)
- 1/2 cup quinoa (raw, rinsed)
- 1 large or 2 small red bell peppers, roughly chopped
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled, diced
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Small piece of ginger, peeled, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 2/3 cup hot water
- 1 heaped teaspoon each cumin, coriander seeds powder and coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (moderately spicy)
- 5 tablespoons coriander, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6. You will need a medium size oven dish, about 6 cm deep.
- In a large pot heat up 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, add the bay leaf, garlic, ginger, onion and celery, stir and fry for a couple of minutes stirring often.
- Add the spices and quinoa, stir and continue frying over a medium heat for another minute.
- Add the carrot, red pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, water and stir thoroughly.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish, cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, fold in the fresh coriander and set aside.
- In a medium frying pan heat up 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and fry the paneer pieces briefly turning often until they brown a little. Scatter a desired amount over a portion of the vegetable quinoa and serve (the quinoa will thicken as it stands).
This dish will thicken after a few hours.