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Bringing a dish to dinner to share with friends is stressful.

It has to be vegetarian, be served alongside unknown non-vegetarian dishes (and somehow create a cohesive meal), and prove to our hosts that veg food can be delicious.

How do you do all that with one dish?

I decided on quinoa.  Made into something hearty, like a risotto.  Something combining this recipe with this recipe.

Fortunately, as though the heavens shined down upon me, I searched the internet and discovered that someone had already done the work to combine these two things into the exact recipe I wanted.  It’s hearty, veg friendly, and goes with a lot.  It’s quite flavorful and delicious, too.  I thought I had a winner.

Until we got to our guests house and found out that my contribution was to be served alongside Indian takeout.  Not exactly a match made in culinary heaven.

Oh well.  Make this for yourself and serve it alongside some vegetables for a tasty meal.

Just don’t put curry on your vegetables.  I don’t advise the goat cheese and curry combo.


4 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
8 oz package of sliced mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 oz baby spinach
2 oz (about 1/4 cup) goat cheese
Salt and pepper


Add vegetable broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Keep it gently simmering as you make the risotto.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and sauté until softened and lightly browned, stirring often, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the garlic and the quinoa and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring often, until quinoa is lightly toasted and fragrant.

Add the wine and stir until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Begin adding vegetable broth to the quinoa, a small ladle at a time, stirring constantly. When each addition of liquid is absorbed by the quinoa mixture, add another small ladleful. Continue adding broth and stirring for about 25-30 minutes total, until quinoa is cooked through and no longer crunchy.

Add spinach to quinoa and stir until spinach is wilted. Add goat cheese and stir until melted and completely mixed in.

Remove from heat, taste, and add salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm.

Source: Once Upon a Cutting Board
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