Before I get to my Savory Quinoa Florentine recipe – I’ll share a tidbit I learned over my long 35 year life.
Things are not important – experiences are what matter.
Make the time to do the important things. What are the important things?
Think about what means the most to you. How would you feel if that thing was no longer there? Could you just get another one?
Ah – there is the key. With material things, we can always get another one. But the people and the experience can’t be replaced.
When people ask me why I love camping “in the dirt and bugs”, experience is why I love it. In a hotel room, you most likely won’t be outside as much. You might do some sightseeing during the day, go back to the hotel and watch some TV as you get ready for dinner. But CAMPING gets you outside – getting to feel, hear and see nature. (As long as you aren’t in one of the converted buses with your satellite dish outside.) No electronics in sight.
Some of the best things about last weekend’s trip…..
Watching my friend Justine enjoying the sunset as her son fishes. Taking my daughter kayaking.
The stillness by the water in the morning.
Chatting by the fire as a cool breeze blows, sipping a glass of chilled chardonnay.
My daughter – so proud of her little camper.
Roasting the perfect marshmallow.
Quietly spending time with my mom.
The kids fishing for Lilly pads.
One thing that struck me recently while cleaning out my dad’s office was that all these things – small mementos, things he collected, art work….he wasn’t able to take anything with him. He’s moved on to another place and all he can take with him is love, his experiences and the journey.
I came across a quote in a book about “the dash” that fits perfectly. The dash is that space between the date of someone’s birth and death.
“For it matters not how much we own; the cars or the house…the cash, what matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. So think about this long and hard….are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged. If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel. And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more, and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile….Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.” – Linda Ellis
Take the time to enjoy life. Put the phone down. Cook a meal that nourishes your body and soul.
I love cooking with quinoa because it is one nourishing food we can take the time to cook. 15 minutes is all – and a quick five of rest.
Quinoa is versatile, and can be dressed up or eaten simply on it’s own – with a bit of salt.
This quinoa Florentine is more of the dressed up version – but simply and elegantly – with tomatoes, onions, garlic and spinach; cooked just long enough to give the vegetables a nice sweet caramelization, adding the spinach at the last minute to quickly steam it down and save those important vitamins and minerals.
Serves 4 rounded 1-cup servings
Vegan, Gluten Free
**Items on sale now at Native Sun Natural Food Stores, June 7 through July 6, 2013
1 cup quinoa**
1 1/4 cup water or veggie broth
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt (plus extra, to taste)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup white wine
7 oz to 10 oz baby spinach
1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion; cook 7 to 10 minutes or until translucent; add garlic, cook an additional 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat water or broth over high heat; rinse quinoa with a fine mesh strainer; add to boiling water or broth; reduce heat and cover. Cook 15 minutes; remove from heat; let sit an additional five minutes.
3. Add tomatoes and salt to onion mixture and 1 to 2 Tbsp white wine; cover and cook 20 minutes or until tomatoes burst; uncover cook an additional 5 minutes, adding additional wine as needed; add spinach, cover and cook 2 minutes, or until wilted; uncover and stir well.
4. Reserve 1/2 cup quinoa for later use; stir in spinach mixture; toss gently.
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 5.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 196.0 mg
Potassium 312.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.9 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Sugars 1.0 g
Protein 6.4 g
Vitamin A 101.9 %
Vitamin B-6 6.6 %
Vitamin C 36.1 %
Vitamin E 7.1 %
Calcium 7.3 %
Copper 3.9 %
Folate 25.8 %
Iron 24.5 %
Magnesium 10.8 %
Manganese 27.5 %
Niacin 2.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.5 %
Phosphorus 3.1 %
Riboflavin 6.1 %
Selenium 1.2 %
Thiamin 3.1 %
Zinc 2.1 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Enjoy this Savory Quinoa Florentine!