Where did summer go?
It feels like Bret and I just got back home from our summer road trip. We were gone for two and a half weeks visiting friends and family all over the Northeast. The trip itself was a whirlwind adventure. Brewery tours, campfires, weddings, late night music sessions, taco fixes, our entire extended family getting kicked out of a state park; it all happened. Check out some of our moments from Instagram.
It was an awesome adventure, but one that made the summer suddenly seem to disappear. Now Bret’s back at work and I’m back to the grind. Or getting there. I’m getting into a few new work-mode projects: promoting my web design work, playing the set of uilleann pipes I recently acquired, learning Irish Gaelic with Bret, and of course, cooking all the food. All of thems.
Have I mentioned lately that I love food? Not lately, probably. I’m sorry it’s been quiet here on my blog. I assure you that our kitchen hasn’t been such a sleepy place. I’ll try to be better about sharing. In the meantime, wander over to my Instagram for a oft-updated feed full of… feed. Food. A food feed. Feed feed.
After you’re hungry from looking at food pictures (don’t do it late at night, it’s a mistake I make daily and I suffer endless midnight growls for it), make this garlicky quinoa. It’s tasty, it’s easy, it’s wholesome, and it makes use of that handmade Swiss cheese you got from the Amish cheese house. Or Whole Foods. Or New Leaf. Or Trader Joe’s or somebody’s grandma’s cellar. Skip the Swiss if you’re vegan and you won’t even miss it, but find a way, make this quinoa, and please tell me how you like it!
garlicky quinoa with onions, mushrooms, and swiss cheese
2 cups uncooked quinoa, soaked (instructions to follow) and drained
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
half of a large onion, diced or sliced as you prefer
1-2 cartons button mushrooms, sliced or quartered
salt + pepper
a few (4ish) ounces of Swiss cheese, grated
fresh parsley, if you have it
prepare the quinoa
This recipe requires a little advanced planning. Wash the quinoa in clean water, draining and replacing the water a few times, and rubbing the grains together with your hand. Drain, place quinoa in a large, clean bowl, and add plenty of water. Cover with a towel and soak the quinoa overnight or for eight hours, covered with a towel. After soaking, drain and set aside, covered with a towel, until ready to use.
Over medium heat, warm a lidded pot for the quinoa and a large skillet for the mushrooms and onions, adding about a good splash of olive oil to both vessels.
To the pot, once warm, add the minced garlic. Let the garlic sizzle in the oil for a couple minutes. Add the drained quinoa to the pot and stir to coat with the garlicky oil. Cook for a couple minutes until quinoa smells vaguely toasty. Add 1.5 cups water along with the tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Season with about a half teaspoon of salt. Adjust heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for about 7 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork to gently redistribute, then cook uncovered for a couple more minutes until the remaining water is cooked off.
While the quinoa pot simmers, saute the onions in the oiled and hot skillet until soft and translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms along with a good splash of balsamic vinegar. Stir and allow to reduce for a few minutes as the quinoa finishes cooking. Season with salt and pepper.
When the quinoa is done and the veggies are tender, add the mushrooms + onions to the quinoa and stir gently. Grate up to four ounces of Swiss cheese onto the hot quinoa mixture and stir, using a fork if you find a large spoon smushes the quinoa too much. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Top with a little more grated Swiss cheese and some fresh parsley, if you have it. Enjoy.