Healthy Homemade: Quinoa Chowder with Spinach, Feta and Chives

Four years ago for Christmas I received Deborah Madison’s cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I was told the book was the Mercedes of all vegetarian cookbooks, and as a pescatarian I was stoked to try my hand at a few recipes. However I quickly found out that a 742-page cookbook can be overwhelming. As a new cook, ingredients like bulgar and recipes like Tender Tatsoi with Sesame Oil Vinaigrette seemed intimidating. Needless to say I put the book on the shelf and didn’t open it for four years.

But last night was the night. I figured after four years of cooking for myself, an endless amount of blog reading, and countless trips to Trader Joes, I was ready to take the Mercedes for a joy ride. I diligently read through every one of the 742 pages and happily discovered numerous recipes that highlighted my favorite ingredients, like lentils and chickpeas. After bookmarking at least 20 recipes I decided to give the Quinoa Chowder a whirl. I was looking for something healthy and couldn’t resist the prospect of feta cooked into a soup. The soup was as fresh and delicious as promised and I’m already making a grocery list for my next Deborah Madison recipe.

Alex Milling is a recent graduate of Northwestern University and is welcoming tips for how to make radiator heat work properly.


Quinoa Chowder with Spinach, Feta and Chives
Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Makes 4 servings

3/4 cups quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup chopped chives
6 ounce bag of spinach leaves, choped
1/4 pound feta cheese, chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Put the quinoa and 1 1/2 cups of water in a pot, bring to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all the water.

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and chile. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and the potatoes. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add 4 cups broth, 2 cups water and 1/4 cup chives and let simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Add the quinoa, spinach and remaining chives and simmer for 3 more minutes.

Turn off heat and stir in feta and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.


Originally posted on Monday, December 5th, 2011

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