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Most people think I am nuts when I say that I really do not care for pasta, but it’s true. If I am going to mix a protein or vegetable with something, I prefer rice.  However, if I’m cooking without meat but want more protein in my meal, I will use Quinoa instead. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to make and has 8 grams of protein per cup! It  also has 5 grams of fiber. The thing with Quinoa is that once it is cooked, you have to add something to it or it can be dry. Below is my go-to recipe when I need to use up some vegetables or just want to cook something meat free.

What you will need:

Quinoa (Red or Traditional)
Olive oil
Your favorite spaghetti sauce
Bell Pepper (any color)
Any fresh herb (I’ve used parsley, basil or even rosemary is nice)
Parmesan cheese

Once you have cooked your quinoa, add a little olive oil right away and give it a good stir. Then add your favorite spaghetti sauce. Add however much you want. If you add too little, the quinoa will seem dry.

Then, saute your veggies in the order listed above. The last thing you want to add is your fresh herb or herbs. Combine your veggies with your Quinoa and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

If you have time and want to to add another layer of flavor, you can saute your onion, add the garlic and then add your mushrooms. Let these veggies cook for a few minutes and then add a splash of red or white wine. You will need to let these cook down which will take about 5 minutes. Then you can add your bell pepper and tomato. You can substitute zucchini or asparagus for any of the veggies listed.