RECIPE: Crockpot Quinoa

crockpot quinoaI’m told I need to get a crock pot.  Because we a have a Vitamix (love it!), a toaster oven, a coffee bean grinder (the Hub’s), a French press as well as a food processor, I’m not keen on adding to the arsenal.  But I have friends that swear by their crock pots, that they can load up in the morning, leave to slow-cook all day while they’re out ‘gettin it done’ and return home to an already made dinner. And because this blog is meant to provide easy meals under budget, I must be willing to try things outside of my norm, right?

So this one’s for you crock pot loving people! And it includes our favorite nutrient-packed grain, Quinoa. This recipe was stolen from (A Year of Slow Cooking)

cooked red quinoa
–1 1/2 cups quinoa (red or gold)
–3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
–1 T olive oil
–1/2 t salt
–1/2 t cinnamon
–1/4 sliced or chopped almonds
–1/3 cup dried unsweetened cranberries

–handful of baby spinach
–1 cup baby tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
–1/2 block feta cheese, crumbled


If you buy quinoa in bulk, consider rinsing quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear.  I don’t rinse the quinoa that comes in the orange box from Trader Joe’s.
Dump quinoa into the crockpot. I used my 6qt Smart Pot for this dish.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix it around. Add chicken or vegetable broth, the salt, and cinnamon. Stir in almonds and cranberries.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or on high for 2-4. The quinoa is done when you can fluff it with a fork and it is tender. The liquid should be pretty well absorbed, similar to how you know rice is done.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and add the baby tomatoes and feta cheese. Stir gingerly to mix. Add a large handful of baby spinach to the top of the crockpot, and close the lid. Cook on high for about 20 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. Stir again to distribute the spinach.

Serve it up.

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

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