Friday, January 6, 2012

Quinoa con Queso

Holy time-suck, Batman!  I have fallen in love, and you might just reap the benefits of it.  My new obsession love?  Pinterest!  Pinterest itself is not a new idea, it's just taking the bookmarks I have in my favorites and putting them on a visual board for me (and my friends) to enjoy.  However, it has re-sparked my love of reading different blogs to look for new ideas for crafts, recipes, and inspirations in life.  It's also fun to peek into the heads of others to see what their bookmarked favorites may be.  Sure, Pinterest is getting to be old news now that almost everyone is there, but the more that join and play with it, the more fun it is becoming.

To keep this story short (too late!), one of my fabulous friends posted a recipe for Quinoa con Queso, and since we love to buy the 5lb bags at Costco, I figured this might be the perfect recipe!

 First of all, I only kind of followed the recipe.  I mean, I did, but if you look at the picture on the recipe link above, you'll see that my final picture looks nothing like it, so here was my recipe (and this was doubled for left overs).

Quinoa con Queso Ingredients
2 C of Quinoa
4 C Water
1 T Olive Oil
2 T Butter
1 Large Chopped Onion
2 tsp Pressed Garlic
4 Diced Bell Peppers
4 Diced White Chili Peppers
4 C Chopped Zucchini
4 T Tomato Paste (mine is far more red than the original recipe's photo!)
4 Roma Tomatoes (seeded and diced)
Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp Italian Herb mix (I was out of Oregano)
10 oz of Queso Fresco diced
1 1/2 C milk

Directions:  This was SO SIMPLE, I'm definitely making it again!
1. Make the Quinoa according to the package (boil water, simmer, set - same as rice)
2. Take your big pan/pot and melt the olive oil/butter.  Add in your onion and cook until about halfway to clear.  Add garlic (for about a minute), then add your peppers and work them all until close to tender.  Then, add your zucchini, tomato paste, and tomatoes, and let the mixture cook down a bit.
3.  Next up, add your seasonings.  Once everything is tender and ready to go, add your cheese.  Our chicken wasn't quite ready, so the cheese was more melty than cubed, but I dug it that way.
4. Before serving, warm the milk and add it to your quinoa.  This finishes it off with a slightly creamy texture that compliments the cheesy warmth of the "con queso."

Sorry it's a bit blurry, but it was incredible just the same!

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