cilantro veggie quinoa bowls

 

I’ve been busy baking and decorating cakes these last couple of weeks.  I’ve made a one tier cake for my son’s birthday, followed by a two tier cake for my niece.

 

The funny thing about cake decorating is the more cakes I make, the more I crave greens and savory meals.  It’s not the taste testing. It’s the smell.

 

The smell of cake, the smell of buttercream, the smell of ganache, and the smell of fondant.

 

When you work on a decorated cake, it can take a couple of days…between baking, filling, and decorating.  So I find myself smelling buttercream, ganache or fondant for hours!  Don’t get me wrong- I love cake! But, after a while, it really does lose its allure and I find myself in desperate need of something savory permeating the kitchen.  That’s where this recipe comes in.

 

cilantro veggie quinoa bowls

 

This recipe for Cilantro Veggie Quinoa Bowls is a take on a Latin American rice dish, arroz verde, aka…green rice.  Although it doesn’t look very green, it definitely packs a lot of that aromatic green herb, cilantro.

 

cilantro veggie quinoa bowls

 

Instead of rice, I’m using quinoa, making this dish a whole lot healthier and very nutritious.  The key ingredient in this dish is cilantro.  Instead of just chopping the cilantro, it’s blended into a paste- infusing loads of flavor into the entire dish.

 

cilantro veggie quinoa bowls

 

This is another one of those dishes I can eat alone, as a meal.  There are carrots and peas- the peas are a little lost in the dish, but there’s a whole cup mixed in.

 

cilantro veggie quinoa bowls

 

This is the perfect meal for me after back to back cakes, and perfect for my sense of smell too! 🙂

 

cilantro veggie quinoa bowls

 

Cilantro Veggie Quinoa Bowls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A healthier version of a Latin American "green" rice dish, using quinoa, fresh cilantro, carrots and peas. This recipe for Cilantro Veggie Quinoa Bowls is not only nutritious, but filling and exploding with flavor.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon aji amarillo or any other hot pepper*
  • ¼ cup cilantro, blended into a paste
  • 1 cup baby carrots, sliced into small rounds
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½-1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups water
Instructions
For the Cilantro Paste:
  1. Place a bunch of rinsed cilantro into a blender with a tablespoon of water or olive oil.
  2. Blend until a thick paste is formed. It may be necessary to add more liquid depending on the amount of cilantro used.
  3. Reserve ¼ cup of cilantro paste. Freeze any unused paste.
For the Quinoa Bowl:
  1. In a medium saucepan, saute the onion and garlic with the olive oil.
  2. Once the onions are tender, add the hot pepper, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.
  3. Continue stirring often.
  4. Add the carrots and peas.
  5. Add the quinoa and water.
  6. Stir well until just boiling.
  7. Once boiling, lower the setting to low and simmer for ½ hour or until the quinoa is cooked.
Notes
*I use a Peruvian hot pepper paste, aji amarillo. You can find this paste in most Latin American sections of the grocery store. You can also find it on Amazon (link below). However, feel free to use another type of hot pepper.

 

Specialty products used in this recipe:

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

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