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Quinoa with Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil

I have a fondness for a certain type of sage that I allow to run rampant in my garden. It’s really not that pretty. My daughter never picks those flowers for her bouquets. My elderly neighbor points out when it’s getting too close to the fence line, for fear that it will spread into her yard. But it smells amazing and I love it. Which is why I allow it to grow.

This recipe is kind of like that. And I bet you have a few recipes of your own that really aren’t lookers, but that you make over and over again because they just taste that good. They are valued by some sense other than sight.

This is well and good, except for when you want to blog about one of these recipes. I mean whose mouth is going to water at the sight of a glob of quinoa with some red and green specks in it? Now you see my dilemma. This is why I’m giving you a picture of the beautiful things that went into this delicious recipe, and not the recipe itself. If you want to know what it looks like, you’ll just have to make it.

I have to mention this post by Kelly at the Spunky Coconut, since it is about quinoa and special diets. It’s fascinating reading. I offer it as food for thought (ha!) and because I found it interesting. And because I’ve been questioning lately whether my body is tolerant of quinoa or not. Quinoa doesn’t always sit very well with my gut, and I thought it was intriguing that other people had noticed that too.

At our house, we mixed in some shredded chicken. I ate mine out of a bowl, everyone else had theirs topped with parmesan and wrapped in a tortilla. Everyone was happy. It was so tasty that no one noticed it was ugly.

Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes and Spinach
Source: adapted from Cooking Light

  • whole garlic head
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • 14 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 12 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • 1 cup gluten free chicken or vegetable broth
  • 12 cup organic baby spinach leaves
  • 13 cup chopped seeded tomato (1 small)
  • 14 cup shredded fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon shaved fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • shredded organic chicken, or tortillas (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Remove papery skin from garlic head. Cut garlic head in half crosswise, breaking apart to separate whole cloves. Wrap half of head in foil; reserve remaining garlic for another use. Bake at 350 for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and red pepper to pan; cook 1 minute. Add quinoa to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat; stir in garlic pulp, spinach, tomato, cheese, and salt. Serve immediately.

** This recipe is being shared at Cybele Pascal’s blog. Click on over for lots of allergen-friendly yumminess.

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