Spring Vegetable and Quinoa Risotto

by | Apr 17, 2018 | Easy To Prepare, Entree, Gluten Free, Healthy, Recipe, Seasonal, Side Dish, Superfoods, Vegan, Vegetarian | 0 comments

Spring Vegetable and Quinoa Risotto


Although this dish can be prepared year-round, fresh spinach and arugula paired with green peas – all wonderful cool weather vegetables – make this a delicious choice for spring. They provide “superfood” status with regard to vitamins and minerals, and quinoa is a great source of plant-based protein.

Quite satisfying as an entrée, it also works well as an accompaniment to other menu items.  A nicely melting vegan cheese may be substituted for the Fontina if preferred. 


3 – 4 servings as an entree; 6 servings as a side dish


1 tablespoon olive, avocado or sunflower oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 small to medium-sized carrot, peeled, small diced
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed (one color or multi-colored)
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock or broth, low-sodium or no salt added
1 tablespoon lemon or white balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon (pinch) dried thyme (or ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves)
1 cup each – spinach and arugula, chopped
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese (or vegan cheese)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil – drizzled at the finish (optional)
Freshly grated Fontina cheese – for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and mushrooms, and sauté until soft, 3 – 4 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and quinoa, and sauté for 1 minute more, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the stock, vinegar, and thyme, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low simmer, cover, and cook until quinoa is almost tender and translucent about 12 minutes. Not all liquid will be absorbed yet.
  4. Stir in the spinach, arugula, and peas; cook uncovered for about 3 minutes more.
  5. When liquid is mostly absorbed and quinoa is translucent, remove from heat; stir in the cheese, salt, and pepper.
  6. Serve immediately. If desired, garnish with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and/or freshly grated Fontina cheese.



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