Get ready for your next Meatless Monday hit: Mediterranean-inspired Lemony Quinoa with Spinach, Feta and Beans!
The quinoa craze shows no signs of abating. And we’re so glad! This protein-packed whole grain provides great nutrition in a flavorful and unique package.
Still, we know that parents sometimes shy away from preparing quinoa for their kids. Why? Quinoa has a lean and slightly seedy texture that some kids (and adults!) don’t take to right away.
But this Lemony Quinoa with Spinach, Feta and Beans just might convert any quinoa skeptics living under your roof.
What makes THIS quinoa so good? There’s a “trick” I always tell people who want to turn quinoa into an irresistible dish: serve the grain with creamy ingredients, especially cheese.
And that’s just what we’ve done. Creamy beans, cheese and healthful extra virgin olive oil tie all the flavors and textures together into a satisfying and well-rounded family dinner. Yum!
My kids are crazy about those salty little boulders of feta cheese. I don’t even mind that my five-year-old ate his serving with his hands 😉
Great Flavors, Great Nutrition
Mediterranean-inspired ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, tart lemons, cannellini beans and feta cheese make this zesty quinoa pop.
And the colorful veggies we’ve included target the types that our kids need the most in their daily diet: leafy greens and orange roots. These veggies provide…
- Vitamins K, C, A, and minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron.
- Beneficial fiber for healthy digestion.
- Antioxidants and other phytochemical that help keep cells healthy.
- Vibrant colors, tastes and textures in your kids’ meal!
Plus, we try to include beans in our diet at least a few times a week for their fiber, plant-protein, and iron.
There’s even more to love: the leftovers taste excellent at room temperature, so you can pack this hearty main dish for a school lunch the next day.
Lastly, this Lemony Quinoa comes together in one pot. Yes! So you can hang out with your kids after dinner (or–shhh!– sneak away for a Facebook break) instead of scrubbing pots and pans.
Pair this Lemony Quinoa with fresh fruit, and you’ve created a complete Meatless Monday masterpiece. Enjoy it!
Lemony Quinoa with Spinach, Feta and Beans
- 1 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 3 cup chicken broth, low-sodium
- 2 medium carrot
- 5 ounce spinach
- 15 ounce cannellini (white kidney) beans, canned
- 6 oz feta cheese crumbles
- Peel and dice carrots. Mince garlic. Rinse and drain beans.
- Rinse the quinoa throughly and drain. Then place the quinoa in a 4-quart pot with the broth and diced carrots.
- Bring to a a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover, until the quinoa is cooked and has absorbed all the broth (about 20 minutes)
- Meanwhile, mix the dressing: add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, honey and oregano to a bowl, and whisk it together with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Roughly chop the spinach (optional) and add it to the pot of cooked quinoa and carrots. Stir and replace the lid for 3-4 minutes, so that the retained heat wilts the spinach.
- Gently fold in the beans and dressing, then let cool for ten minutes.
- Stir in the feta cheese and serve warm, with a side of fresh fruit.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie