"Quinotto" with Shrimp & Peas

I grew up with and love risotto. However, I am not often in the mood for white arborio rice or the arduous task of making a good risotto. Wanting an easier and whole grain version I came up with "Quinotto" - risotto made from quinoa. This particular recipe is a nice spring version as it includes peas which are now in season. IMG_0741


  • 3/4 - 1 pound of medium shrimp, deveined and shelled
  • 1 1/2 cups of quinoa
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 -2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock or bouillon
  • 1 cup of fresh peas or 1 cup of frozen peas, defrosted
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft.
  2. Add quinoa and garlic, cook, stirring for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add white wine, cook on low heat for 5 minutes
  4. Add stock, cover pot and simmer for about 15 minutes
  5. When the quinoa is almost but not quite done, add the shrimp and peas. Make sure to add more stock if necessary. Add lemon zest. Cook for about 4 minutes until the shrimp are done and peas are bright green.
  6. Remove from heat and add parmesan and another small ladle of hot stock if needed.

Serves 4

On this occasion I served the dish with steamed asparagus and shitake mushrooms sauteed in white wine.

If you want the dish to have more of a seafood flavor you can do the following (not necessary and a bit more time consuming):

Rinse the shrimp shells after removing them from the shrimp, combine them with 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, skim off foam,  simmer partly covered for 30 minutes on medium to low heat. Strain and add to the chicken/vegetable stock.


Safran Quinoa with Dried Shitake Mushrooms (vegan)

Safran Quinoa with Dried Shitake Mushrooms

This is a great way to make your quinoa more interesting and tasty. Safran has a very nice, mild flavor and adds that great yellow color to the dish.It doesn't take much time to make it either.



  • 1 cup dried Shitake Mushrooms ( you can use fresh ones if you prefer, or any other type of mushroom you like)
  • Bouillon cubes (choose a healthy, MSG-free brand like Rapunzel)
  • Safran
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • Water

    mushrooms 1


mushrooms 2

  • Put dried mushrooms into a bowl, cover with boiling water, cover with lid, soak for 15 minutes.
  • Mix soaked mushrooms and quinoa in a medium size pan.
  • Add water (2 cups, add more as needed)
  • Cook on medium heat.
  • Add bouillon once water is warm ( I actually like to take a bit of hot water out of the pot, put it in a cup, mix up the bouillon in it  and pour it back into the pan. Add about 3/4 of a cube, more if you want it saltier.
  • If you have high quality, finely ground safran(more expensive) you add it 5 minutes before the dish is done. If you have the less expensive kind, like the one Trader Joe sells, (threads, not ground), you add them in the beginning of the cooking process.

    quinoa 2

    Makes about 4 portions.

  • Enjoy with any of your favorite veggies and meat, tofu or fish dishes.

Bone Appetite!