Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mushroom Quinoa "Dressing": A Meatless Monday Spoof on a Thanksgiving favorite

Now, let me first say mine was only pseudo meatless because I used stock to cook it with.  You may use a veggie stock or water and it will be back to meatless.

-1 C Quinoa and 2 C liquid (I suggest a stock of some sort, I used a pork stock, but water with a little butter and salt will do)
-1/2 TB Herbs de Provence (OR a combination of the herbs that you use in your stuffing recipe.  I did not have sage, and this spice mix has it in there along with thyme, marjoram, basil, rosemary, and others)
-1 small pack of mushrooms, sliced
-Optional parmesan cheese

Cook the quinoa in the stock according to package directions, adding in the herbs directly to the liquid to cook with it.  Like I said, I used pork stock.  I had a lot left from making pulled pork in the crockpot, and I wanted this to have a really rich flavor.  Add a dash of salt in the cooking liquid as well.

Sautee the mushrooms in a little butter and a teeny tiny tad of onion pieces until they reach the desired doneness.  As for me, I like to sautee them a while, then add a couple tablespoons of water to the skillet and pop a lid on it so they will steam.  You may prefer them a different way, in which case by all means go with that.  I cook mine with just a little salt and pepper. 

A tiny smidge of onions, in my opinion, is a necessary component to making a mushroom eat more like a meat.  I always sautee mine in butter with onion pieces that I keep frozen and on hand at all times. Mushrooms are hearty little guys, and they make a good filler in things like pastas, on pizzas, and similar.

Anyway when the quinoa is done, I added the mushrooms in and actually topped it with a little parmesan.  Fresh grated is the only acceptable parmesan in my opinion (I really don't like the dust, although I will use Pizza Hut's blend sometimes if I am in a crunch).  Taste it and add just a sprinkle more of the herbs if you want it more heavy, and if you are like me you will want to give it a hit of salt.

I ended up making way too much quinoa and practically used half my bag of it, so if you are a solo soul I would highly suggest cutting the recipe in half.  I will find a creative use for the rest of that quinoa though, and am sure it will not go to waste.

I think this recipe would be best with a little more sage in it, but as I said I just did not have it available.  Definitely consider using isolated spices (sage, thyme, maybe marjoram) if you have them, but if not the herb blend is amazing in a pinch!

I consider this dish to be healthy comfort food.  I plan on buying some sage and tweaking it a little the next time I make it, and make even turn it in to some baked casserole type deal.

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