A quick and easy dish, Green Pea and Parmesan Quinoa is very flavourful and quite a healthy dinner option. Light and fluffy, a perfect weeknight bowl of comfort food!
Every time I cook with green peas, I cannot help but think of Nigella Lawson. That lady loves a green pea like nobody else could! That’s one of her claims to fame. If only I could introduce her to my dad. He absolutely loves green peas! In fact, it’s a running joke in our family and it goes something like this:
- “Dad, what did you have for dinner?”
- “Oh, I made roasted chicken.”
- “Did you have green peas with it?”
- “Of course I did!”
With him, it’s always, always, always, green peas! He would most certainly put Nigella Lawson in your place! Not to be outdone by my dad, I also love green peas, and I always have, mostly because of recipes like this Green Pea and Parmesan Quinoa. I prefer frozen green peas, because if you find a good brand, you can be assured that they are picked at the right time and frozen quickly so that they have had no time to wilt or wither.
I don’t have the luxury of growing or sourcing fresh green peas year round, so frozen is the next best thing. Just don’t ever buy peas in a can – like ever! I grew up with canned vegetables, and I will avoid them at all costs now. (With the exception of beans, and those vegetables found in my Newfoundland potato salads. I’m sorry, but I could never hope to change that.)
Coupling green peas with parmesan is something I did very recently to another recipe of mine. If you haven’t read my recipe for Parmesan Garlic Potatoes and Peas, I encourage you to do so. Why? Because parmesan and green peas work amazingly well together and you’ll love it!
This time, the potatoes were not an option, partially because we have a large amount of organic quinoa in our pantry that needs to used up, and partially because when I made the Parmesan Garlic Potatoes and Peas, I ate the entire thing. With quinoa being a healthier option, I thought this recipe would be a safer bet for my summer figure, hence Green Pea and Parmesan Quinoa was born.
Literally, Dear Reader, all you need to prepare a heaping, healthy bowl of Green Pea and Parmesan Quinoa is four ingredients. I’m not going to count the fresh chopped parsley as an ingredient, because you can leave it out and still end up with a great tasting dish. To be completely honest, I very rarely use parsley as a ‘taste’ ingredient, but more as a visual ingredient or garnish.
I’m not going to count the water, salt, and pepper ingredients either, because water is readily available and I think every home cook has salt and pepper on hand. So, what do you need? Quinoa and green peas, obviously, and parmesan and butter. That’s it; that’s all!
Green Pea and Parmesan Quinoa comes together completely – from start to finish – in about 20 minutes. Isn’t that a perfect way to end a work day? You get to sit down and relax with a wholesome, healthy dinner in very little time. There’s really no excuse not to eat better with recipes like this.
When the quinoa comes out of the pot all nice and hot, and it’s light and fluffy, with these vibrant green peas scattered throughout, it creates an immediate sense of warmth and comfort. I always get very excited whenever a grain dish turns out nicely. I’ve mentioned it before in one of my previous recipe posts that I cannot properly cook rice, but that lack of skill usually applies to almost all grains. So, in the case of my Green Pea and Parmesan Quinoa recipe, thrilled beyond measure! (Yes, I just wrote that. I have no shame in talking about food like it’s a relationship; no shame at all.)
Served hot or cold, with or without the parsley, this dish is sure to make you happy and full. Add extra green peas if you wish. Load up on the parmesan cheese if you prefer. In the end, the result will be fantastic and you’ll love Green Pea and Parmesan Quinoa just as much as I do. Trust me, Dear Reader!
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Green Pea and Parmesan Quinoa
- 2 cups quinoa
- 2 cups green peas, thawed if using frozen peas
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for garnish)
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
Add the quinoa, butter, salt, ground black pepper, and water to a sauce pan. Stir to combine. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil.
Add the green peas. Stir to combine. Place a lid on the sauce pan and reduce the heat to simmer. Allow the quinoa to simmer for 15 minutes.
Turn off heat. Remove sauce pan from burner. Fluff the quinoa and green peas with a fork.
Add the parmesan cheese and parsley. Continue to full with a fork to mix the cheese and parsley into the quinoa and peas.
Garnish and serve hot or cold.
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