Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mushroom Broccoli Quisotto (Quinoa!) and Egg White Omelette with Avocado

In just shy of 3 months I'll be boarding a jet plane and winging my way across the country to the Caribbean.  A quick visit to the Bahamas with friends has been planned for over half a year, but unfortunately my waistline is not quite bikini ready.  Power walks with my husband and trips to the gym have risen in priority as has a diet with reduced carbs and increased veggies and proteins.  Quinoa fits that bill.

The inside cover of my most recent cookbook find, Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood, lists a few of quinoa's amazing qualities as:
  • A great source of protein
  • Containing all eight essential amino acids
  • Helps build muscle, promote weight loss and stabilize blood sugar
Throw in the fact that this ancient grain is high on my "I love it" list and we have a winner.  Once considered more valuable than gold, this seed with cultivation dating back thousands of years is classified as a complete protein.  High in vitamin and mineral content (including vitamins E, B2 and B6, folic acid, calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium), quinoa makes an excellent dietary choice.  Versatility is key with quinoa working well in salads, main dishes and even baked goods.

Quinoa 365, written by sisters Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, features magnificent photography along with their more than creative quinoa recipes.  From Quinoa Crepes to Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (using quinoa flour) to today's Mushroom Broccoli Quisotto, the book has recipes for every meal and occasion.  The authors kindly take the time to introduce readers to the benefits and mystery of the seed, giving history, health benefits, descriptions and tips in a well written introduction.  With today's Quisotto hitting the spot for my healthy lunch, I'm eager to peruse and try more of the recipes in the book.  I have a feeling that Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood will be well used for my summer cooking.

Mushroom Broccoli Quisotto brings a risotto-like quality to the quinoa with the addition of my ever favorite Parmesean cheese.  Mushrooms lend a hearty flavor to the dish and the broccoli gives a lovely color contrast in addition to a veggie flavor boost.  I couldn't resist adding a bit of extra garlic, and had my mouth watering as I was sauteeing the vegetables and cooking the quinoa.

Preparing an egg white and spinach omelette to go with the quinoa I was thrilled when the doorbell rang and a delivery man passed over a box of California Avocados from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program.  Opening the box to find a handful of beautifully packed and nearly ripe avocados, I couldn't resist dicing a half that I had left over the top of my eggs.  Topping the omelette with a bit of Mediterranean Feta from Trader Joe's, serving a side of grilled zucchini and a good portion of my Mushroom Broccoli Quisoto I'll be in that swim suit in no time!

Mushroom Broccoli Quisotto
adapted from Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood (printed with permission)

2 Tbs butter
2 cups chopped broccoli, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups chopped cremini or button mushrooms
1/2 cup diced white onion
1 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 cups fresh parsley
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Sauté the broccoli, mushrooms, onion and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Combine the quinoa, stock and pinch of nutmeg in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is completely tender and water is absorbed.

Add the cooked quinoa to the broccoli and mushrooms.  Gently stir in the parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Note:  Asparagus would be a wonderful choice as a broccoli substitute, and I fully enjoyed the diced avocado with the quinoa!

Egg White Omelette with Spinach and California Avocados
avocados provided by the California Avocados and Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program

3 egg whites
1/2 tsp butter
2 mushrooms, chopped
small handful of spinach
1/4 avocado, diced
1-2 Tbs Feta cheese (We use Trader Joe's Mediterranean Feta)

Sauté mushrooms in butter until almost tender.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Pour egg whites into the pan and cook until nearly done.  Add the spinach and mushrooms onto one side of the eggs and carefully flip.  Cook the eggs about 30 seconds more and then slide out onto a plate, folding in half in the process.  Or alternatively, add the spinach and mushrooms before the eggs are set and stir gently.  Slide out onto plate and fold in half.  Top with diced avocado and crumbled Feta Cheese.


  1. Quisotto! I love this term, did you make this up??? Both the quisotto and omelette look delish and healthy. Great meal!
    (This is Carolyn, by the way, from All Day...Blogger is giving me issues. Sigh!).

  2. I'm ready for healthy too. This looks really good. I need to expand my recipes for this superfood and I love the idea of the asparagus in it. Thanks for sharing the book and the recipe.

  3. Hi Carolyn!!! Much as I'd like to take the credit I didn't make it up! Good to see you!!

  4. I love quinoa and eat it very frequently, but have never heard of quisotto -- hehe! Looks great and I love the idea. Gotta try this soon.

    Let the vacation countdown begin!

  5. This sounds awesome Kim..I really liked your story...very nice, informative and interesting post. I love your recipe and photos too..

  6. Beautiful dishes... I especially love the egg white omelette! I would have never thought of putting avocados in there. How lovely it would be if my doorbell rang, and I got a delivery of avocados! :) Thanks for a great post, Kim!

  7. I love quinoa also and I'm always looking for new recipes! This looks delish! Thanks!

  8. Um SAVING this! I love the idea of risotto out of quinoa. I cant wait to try this! =) Those avocados look amazing.

  9. Oh Kim, this is such a delicious meal! I'm very new and green to the quinoa world. I made some once and I don't think I made it correctly because I didn't enjoy it very much :-( I'm so glad you mentioned the book; I might just go look for it at the bookstore :-)

  10. You should have called! I have a big bag of frozen cooked quinoa that falls on Max's head every time he opens the freezer.

  11. I am so envious now, Kim! Caribbean! How nice...well I'm not so looking forward to wearing a bikini as I'm not watching my diet for a while. I never cooked quinoa by myself but I've had it at friend's house and I really liked it. I just needed a nice recipe for myself to try, and this is a good one. I like all the ingredients I see. Thanks for sharing. Maybe you will inspire me to "become" skinny!

  12. I have seen this book at Costco and have been very tempted to purchase it. Your quisotto looks amazing and lucky you to have all those avocados. I will have to try this soon.

  13. I am definitely NOT bikini ready either lol... at least you have a few months:-) That sounds like a wonderful trip! This dish looks delicious and I'd happily eat it to get in shape!

  14. So glad you included the omelette recipe! I mean, the quisotto (adorable) looks outstanding but when I saw the picture of the omelette with the avocado my stomach went 'RAAAAAAWR!' Well done :)

  15. Your quisotto looks delightful. Trader Joe's here I come. I need to loose a few pounds before my son's wedding in October, and maybe the quinoa will help!

  16. Oh yum! Double delicious dishes! Both look excellent and healthy...I need to stop eating desserts and start making these!

  17. I adore quinoa, it is sooooo good! And you can do so many things with it that people don't realize!! Thanks for posting this Kim, I really enjoyed reading it. Your mushroom broccoli quisotto looks PHENOM!

  18. What an amazing dish! I discovered quinoa a couple years ago and I don't use it nearly enough. It's one of those forgotten grains for me. But whenever I see it or hear about it I wonder why I never remember it.

    I love the idea of putting a risotto twist on this healthy super food. Thanks for sharing!

  19. This is such a great idea! I've got some quinoa in the pantry that would be perfect for this! And I'm definitely so jealous of your upcoming vacation!!

  20. I love your quisotto! I am constantly trying to find new ways to use quinoa and that book sounds like it covers it all. Looks delicious!

  21. I have a wedding to attend at the end of next month. I'll be trying these recipes for that last minute slim down! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Everything looks so delicious in your photos. I have been meaning to try this recipe; I think my kids will like the broccoli.

    For anyone on the fence, I would add my two cents: "Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood" is a fantastic cookbook.Some days I get lost drooling over the photos. :-)

    We're making The Garden Burger (quinoa and lentils) this weekend.

  23. Oooh I love that - quisotto!! Call Webster's and let them know of your word! :)
    This looks delicious!

  24. My boyfriend and I made your quisotto tonight and it was nothing short of incredible. It didn't even taste like quinoa - it tasted like some delicious carb! Thank you so much for this lovely recipe and for transforming a food that I otherwise think tastes like bird food into something succulent!

  25. YUM YUM YUM YUM. I am totally making both of these things. Your photos are amazing as well.

  26. Thanks, Michelle! They are both favorites... hope you love them like we did!! (I actually had the eggs for lunch today!)

  27. Thanks, for stopping by. Definitely follow there is more to come from this newbie blogger.Love my California avocados.

    For the sake of humor,living here in the south is very diferrent.
    When my daughters and I ask for Turkey avocado and sprouts on our sandwich we get funny looks, then, wait for it,"we don't have sprouts".
    Wow blew me away, I did not see that coming.

  28. Thanks for the great recipes! I was trying to find a recipe for the mushrooms and broccoli I received in my co-op basket this week...and the fact that it involves protein-packed quinoa is an added bonus! I'm also going to check out that book..thanks! :)


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