A long long time ago…
Way back in 2013, Dear Daughter caught the planting bug from her mother. For her birthday she requested a greenhouse so she could start growing her choice of plants from seedlings. Because her birthday is in March we had to keep the greenhouse indoors as March is still the middle of winter here in Chicago.
And so the indoor Optimistic Garden was born
Garden Fresh Quinoa
The idea for Garden Fresh Quinoa came from all the fresh ingredients we were growing in our Optimistic Garden. We combined just picked herbs and vegetables and tossed them with some quinoa for a healthy, home-grown dish.
It’s definitely better when you grow it yourself!
Back to the Future
Our family still has an Optimistic Garden. This year I started the garden indoors using my Aero Garden Seed Starter top.
I was blown away by how the plants actually grew! Now they’re safely tucked into the fresh earth in my outdoor backyard Optimistic Garden.
I’m optimistic they will grow and flourish, yielding massive amounts of produce.
Garden Fresh Confetti Quinoa
When I went back to look at the original awesome recipe, I noticed some things that could be updated. I didn’t want to completely re-do the post…I love the pics of Dear Daughter, but I did want to update the recipe to make it more colorful and easier to make.
I’m also off of traditional onions and garlic, using green onions and green garlic chives or garlic oil instead. You can use traditional garlic and onions in this recipe, but for people with food issues this colorful recipe has the substitutions already included.
The Original Garden Fresh Confetti
The truth is that the original recipe uses rice instead of quinoa. It’s my go to for the easiest recipe for a crowd. When I’m a partner in any event, like Sheva Brachot last week, I offer to make Garden Fresh Confetti Rice. You basically sauté vegetables then add them to rice cooked in vegetable stock. Add some salt and freshly ground black pepper and you have this incredibly delicious, healthy, gorgeous side dish that goes with anything. I’ve even made full sheet pans of it in the oven.
The Hindy Chopper saves the day
Take a look at the perfect, even, completely square chopped vegetables. You might wonder if my knife skills are that good! They are (lol) but that’s besides the point. It’s like a beep beep zip tang, vegetables are done kind of thing. I can post that prep takes 45 minutes, but with the chopper it’s like 10…maybe 15. I guess that’s up to you.
I’m going to be optimistic and put 15.
One more for good luck
Another super useful tool that I used in this recipe is the OXO Good Grips Rice & Small Grains Washing Colander.
I love that it has super small drainage holes on the bottom, has drainage holes at the top (you can see them on the left) and is very light and ergonomic. We use it for washing veggies too…it’s extremely versatile, and dishwasher safe (bonus!).
Here’s Garden Fresh Confetti QuinoaPrint
The ingredients in Garden Fresh Confetti Quinoa are fresh, vegetable rich, healthy and come straight from your garden!
- 2 cups tri-color quinoa, rinsed
- 4 cups boiling water
- 2 tablespoons garlic oil, or 2 garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large carrots, diced (around 2 cups)
- 1 large zucchini, diced (around 3 cups)
- 1 large yellow squash, diced (around 2 cups)
- 1 large red pepper, diced (around 2 cups)
- 1 large orange pepper, diced (around 2 cups)
- 1 bunch green onion, sliced (around 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- garlic and onion chives for garnish
Place the quinoa and water in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes until water is completely absorbed.
Remove the quinoa from the heat and fluff with a fork to separate the grains. Set aside uncovered.
Heat a large wok over medium/high heat. Add the garlic oil.
Add the carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, orange pepper and green onion. Sauté until the vegetables are just soft, around 5 minutes.
Fold the quinoa into the vegetable mixture until combined.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Garnish with additional chopped garlic chives or sliced green onion.
Serve hot or cold.
You can use your favorite vegetables for this dish. Keep it colorful!
If you don’t have garlic oil, you can use garlic/garlic chives and extra virgin olive oil.
I wasn’t kidding when I said that the Hindy Chopper is a life saver! This is the time to use it.
Keywords: Plant Based, Vegan, Garden Vegetables, Quinoa, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
More fresh and healthy recipes
- Garden Fresh Quinoa (original)
- Crunchy Heartland Salad with Corn and Edamame
- Lindsey’s Grilled Peach Salad
- Tomato Basil Indian Eggplant Flowers
- Garden Fresh Pesto
Start your own Optimistic Garden!
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