Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa

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Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa | Thrifty Below

I had a crazy quinoa craving when I was getting ready to make dinner last night, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients for my usual Southwest Quinoa. Instead, I updated the recipe to include the lonely zucchini I had in my fridge, and decided to put an Italian-style spin on things. The result was delicious! I’m excited to heat some of the leftovers up for lunch today.

Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa | Thrifty Below

Whether you’re vegan, celebrating Meatless Monday, or just looking for a great side dish, this recipe perfect! It’s hearty enough for a main course (13 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber per ~2 cup serving!), but still light enough to bring for lunch. The taste is fabulous too — garlic, lots of healthy veggies, and a fresh little zing of flavor from the lemon and Italian herbs.

Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa | Thrifty Below

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped (I used green but any color is fine)
1 medium zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup vegetable broth or water
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (mine were no-salt added)
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
generous grinding of black pepper
salt, to taste
——————————
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 a small lemon, juiced

Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa | Thrifty Below

Begin by rinsing 3/4 of a cup of quinoa until the water runs clear. I use this wire strainer so the teeny pieces of quinoa don’t fall through.

Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa | Thrifty Below

Chop your vegetables and garlic. Spray a sauce pan with cooking spray and heat to medium heat.

Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa | Thrifty Below

Add the onions and saute for 1-2 minutes, or until they begin to become translucent. Stir in the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes more. Add the rest of the bell pepper and zucchini and saute until they’re starting to become soft.

Once the vegetables are soft, add the rest of the ingredients (except for the spinach and cannellini beans). Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is fully cooked. You should be able to see its little white tails.

Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa | Thrifty Below

While the quinoa is cooking, drain and rinse the cannellini beans.

Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa | Thrifty Below

And roughly chop two cups of spinach. Though I didn’t have any on hand, chopped fresh parsley would also make an excellent addition to this dish.

Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa | Thrifty Below

When the quinoa is fully cooked, stir in the cannellini beans, spinach, and the juice of half of a small lemon. Continue heating on low until the beans are warm and the spinach is wilted.

Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa | Thrifty Below

Serve and enjoy! If you’re making this as an entree, you’ll get about four servings from the recipe. It would also be awesome as a side dish for another Italian themed recipe, in which case you could get 6-8 servings from the recipe. It’s delicious either way!

How do you celebrate Meatless Monday? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Italian-Style Zucchini Quinoa
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Our delicious Italian-style Zucchini Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, vegetables, and tons of flavor!
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Vegan, vegetarian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • ¾ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 15 ounce can no-salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • generous grinding of black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • ------------------------------
  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • ½ a small lemon, juiced
Instructions
  1. In a wire strainer, rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear.
  2. Chop the vegetables.
  3. Heat a 2 quart sauce pan on medium heat, add cooking spray.
  4. Saute the onions for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes more.
  5. Add the zucchini and bell peppers, saute until soft.
  6. Mix in the rest of the ingredients above the line (leaving out the beans, spinach, and lemon juice).
  7. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 20 minutes, or until quinoa is fully cooked.
  8. Stir in the spinach, lemon juice, and beans. Cook on low until the spinach is wilted and the beans are warm.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cups Calories: 278 Fat: 2 Carbohydrates: 52 Sugar: 9 Sodium: 320 Fiber: 9 Protein: 13 Cholesterol: 0
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