I feel like quinoa has shot up over the past few years. Growing up I never heard it muttered, and now everywhere you look quinoa is taking center stage. It’s awesome actually because not only is it yummy to the thousandth degree, but the healthy benefits are crazy good for you. That’s a win-win-win in my book.
The Chef inspired me to not only make quinoa, but to cook it as you would a risotto. I for one have never made risotto, but I’ve seen him make it multiple times. I was inspired! I grabbed my economy sized bag of quinoa and ran! If this was going to taste anything like ground beef, I was for it. Any excuse I have to use a ground beef substitute, I’m for it. I have not taken the role of a vegetarian, but meat is definitely not my favorite food. (Except burgers…. I looove me some burgers!!)
Dice a medium sized onion and place it in a large skillet drizzled slightly with oil. Cook over medium high heat until onion start to caramelize. Add in 1 cup of uncooked quinoa. Toast slightly. This creates another flavor profile, ever so slightly to the quinoa.
Add in a cup or two of vegetable stock. (You can use any stock you prefer, but if you’re doing quinoa, you might as well keep it legit vegetarian right?) The stock is going to cook into the quinoa, as well as evaporate out, so we will be using about 6-7 cups of stock. (As a cheat, you can use a couple cups of water if need be. But you should use mostly stock. We threw in some plain ‘ol water and it didn’t diminish the flavor.) Once the quinoa soaks up the majority of the stock, add in more until fully cooked. To test, get a spoon a try it out. It should be al dente. Not too crunchy, but still a touch of firmness. This will take close to 35 minutes or longer.
Once the quinoa if cooked, add in your spices. For taco seasoning use:
2 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
A couple shakes of paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
* This is all to taste. You can add more or less if you’d like to fit your taste buds.
The hard part is over! You have quinoa risotto taco “meat”. Sprinkle on some drained and rinsed black beans, avocado, tomatoes, cheese (if you prefer or you can go vegan and omit it completely), and whatever other taco toppings you like! It’s that easy folks.
Next we are going to try this in some tortilla shells! I. Can’t. Wait.
Sounds like something you’d try? Test it out and let us know what you think!