Asian-Fusion Quinoa with Greens and Mushrooms

Here is my final post related to my an upcoming class with The Hunger Coalition on healthy cooking in the slow cooker according to the guidelines of MyPlate.  We are going to teach this class at the Wood River YMCA, and I think it is going to be tons of fun.  I have been asked to de-mystify cooking with quinoa across different flavors.  So I’ve been experimenting at home with some quinoa dishes inspired by various ethnicities.  This time I’m reviving a favorite recipe from the past, found on this previous HKIE post.  What’s different is that  I’ve set up the recipe based on Nurture’s Recipe Framework for a Slow Cooker and MyPlate.

Asian-Fusion Quinoa with Greens and Mushrooms

 Whole grains (~1/4 of your plate)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (I rinsed it ahead of time and left it in a bowl right next to the slow cooker, to add at the end)

Protein (~1/4 of your plate)
Note:  there is not a specific protein ingredient, but you should note that quinoa is the whole grain highest in protein.  You could serve with a protein (such as fish, chicken or meat), or count the quinoa as your protein.

Veggies and fruits (1/2 of your plate)
1-2 leeks, whites and light green parts sliced thinly lengthways
1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
3 cups Asian greens, roughly chopped (you can use Swiss Chard, spinach, or another cooking green like Collard greens if you can’t find Asian greens)

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce  (make sure to use the gluten free version if you are following a gluten free diet)
1 container (32 oz) chicken or veggie broth

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
salt and pepper

Note: This dish does not have a dairy component, which is part of MyPlate.  However, remember that dark greens are an excellent source of calcium!

Directions.  Combine everything above EXCEPT quinoa.  Cook in slow cooker* on Low for about 7 hours, or if you make a double batch you can leave it at least another hour.  About 1.5-2 hours prior to serving, add the quinoa and turn to High.   Cook until you see the quinoa’s little white tails.  That’s the signal that the quinoa is done.  Sprinkle a little extra sesame oil on top prior to serving.  Yum!   

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