Tomato Mint Quinoa
Tomato Mint Quinoa is made with minimal ingredients and is a one-pot recipe. Naturally vegan and gluten-free side dish for a weeknight, potluck, or holiday!
Several years ago, my friend Anisa introduced me to tomato mint rice and I have been hooked ever since. It's one of those recipes I make it so frequently, I can now cook with intuition rather than measurements. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so I figured this is a perfect time to share a side dish for your holiday spread. If you already have your menu planned, you can pin it for later - I am thinking Christmas dinner, holiday potluck, or make them part of your weeknight rotation.
I did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving but I love the idea of any holiday that is about spending time with our loved ones surrounded with (so much) food. It's always the food, especially sides & appetizers. Can I quickly confess that I am not a huge traditional Thanksgiving(y) food person? Unless there are ah-mazing mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce (not the canned stuff), and the best super easy pumpkin pie involved.
I could totally see non-traditional things like Tomato Mint Quinoa, Fall Panzanella Salad, Butternut Squash Soup, and Pumpkin Bread Pudding on my Thanksgiving table. I hope we are still friends right? You still there?
I substituted 'white rice' with 'quinoa' because it is packed with protein, fiber, iron, and magnesium but feel free to use rice if quinoa is not your thing. I find that rinsing quinoa adequately takes care of that soapy taste. Tomato Mint Quinoa will probably work with couscous, barley, and other grains. If you end up trying, do let me know.
Holidays can be a stressful time with family obligations, dinner parties, and last minute things. It's also that time of the year where healthy eating and exercising takes a back seat, because holidays...I am not suggesting you to not enjoy this festive season or deprive yourself from extra servings of stuffing or that glass of wine. Instead I want to encourage and remind you that 'holiday season' doesn't have to be all black and white. And honestly, Thanksgiving (or any holiday) is simply one day of the year, so enjoy the day to it's fullest leaving all the food-relates stress behind. My friend Rachel has a post from last year that talks more on eating normally during holidays.
Tomato Mint Quinoa
Author: Dixya @Food, Pleasure, and Health
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or other grain such as rice, couscous)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried mint (or use 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint)
- 1 cup unsalted diced tomatoes, canned
- 1/2 cup water (or broth)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper
- Run quinoa under cold water and rinse few times. Drain water and keep it aside.
- Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat.
- Sautee onions for 2-3 minutes so and add garlic. Do not let it get brown.
- Add tomatoes and mint to the pot and cook for few minutes.
- Pour quinoa, water, and 1/4 salt to the pot. Mix everything together and bring it to a rolling boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover it and cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked.
- Remove from heat and allow it to stand for 5 minutes.
- Use a fork to fluff the quinoa. Taste and season with pepper and salt if needed.
- Sprinkle more dried mint if desired right before serving.
If using fresh tomatoes, use 2-3 large tomatoes and dice them finely. You will need to increase the amount of liquid to about 1 cup per 1/2 cup dry quinoa or rice. Cook tomatoes a little bit longer until it is soft and fully cooked.
What's your favorite part about Thanksgiving? or your favorite Thanksgiving side?