Plate with Quinoa Risotto

Tradition with a twist: Quinoa risotto recipe

FEB 27, 2015
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In honor of National Nutrition Month, this recipe features quinoa. It’s a seed from South America that’s a versatile, easy-to-cook way to replace many typical grains and starches. Most importantly, quinoa is packed with essential amino acids that can boost your protein intake.


Amino acids are vital to the human body. Your DNA uses amino acids to create proteins, which then go on to create cells, muscles, and other necessary tissues. Your body can create some amino acids, but the rest must be supplied through food.


The risotto dish below from Kaiser Permanente’s Dr. Preston Maring is a vegetarian dish, but can also be adjusted for a vegan diet. Find more healthy recipes online at


Quinoa risotto recipe

Serves 3 as a main course



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 ¼ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh arugula
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded (if you have a food processor, try the shredder disk)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ bunch skinny asparagus, trimmed of the thick ends and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (omit if vegan)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper



  • Using a large saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil then simmer for about 12 minutes. The grain will be almost tender at this point.
  • Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms and asparagus in a non-stick skillet using the remaining teaspoon of oil. Cook until the mushrooms are almost done and the asparagus is crunchy tender. Stir the arugula, carrot, mushrooms, and asparagus into the grain and simmer for another couple minutes. Stir in the cheese (if using) and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutrition values, per serving:

Using low sodium broth and without added salt

  • Calories: 367
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 7 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 51 g
  • Sugars: 5 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Sodium: 220 mg
  • Protein: 17 g


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