Anne Kreuser is blogging while studying abroad in London this semester.

I’m living with 13 other people this semester.  13!  This means there’s a fair representation of vegetarians in the bunch.  I’ve read enough Michael Pollan to know that simply reducing your meat intake is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint, so this veg-influence has got my culinary mind whirring. I found a recipe for eggless double chocolate cookies that are called World Peace Cookies for a reason.  I’ve successfully completed the majority of my shopping at the farmers market on Saturday mornings.  But as the weather turns chillier, I want to feel warm and full and satisfied.  And I’ve found the perfect ingredient.

Quinoa is a grain that is actually related to spinach.  It’s packed with protein, magnesium and iron, making it the perfect addition to anyone’s diet, especially a vegetarian’s. Taking only minutes to cook, it’s a snap to make, and its mild, nutty flavor pairs extremely well with savory and sweet dishes.  Pick some up next time you’re grocery shopping, and try out these vegetarian recipe ideas.

Quinoa with mushrooms and onions

1 yellow onion, diced

1 package shitake mushrooms, sliced

1 t. fresh thyme

1 c. white wine (can substitute vegetable stock)

1 c. quinoa

2 c. water

1 t. olive oil

Bring water to a boil, add quinoa and cook until slightly underdone.  Quinoa should still have a bite, about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, sautee onion in large skillet in olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and thyme.  Cook until mushrooms are browned and tender.  Add cooked quinoa and white wine.  Cook and stir until quinoa has absorbed most of the white wine and the pan becomes dry, about 5 minutes.

Quinoa parfait

1 c. Greek yogurt

2 T. honey

½ c. cooked and cooled quinoa

Hand full of fresh berries

Layer ingredients in a wine glass for a beautiful presentation, or pack away in a reusable plastic container for a morning pick-me-up between classes.

– Anne Kreuser

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