Cheesy Parmesan Quinoa With Sweet Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes

parmesan quinoa with sweet balsamic cherry tomatoes

Welcome to the start of my twelve plus weeks of one handed meals. Turns out, my little bike accident resulted in me in a hand splint and the possibility of surgery. Crossing fingers that the latter is not necessary. When I heard this news, my first thought was- I’m not going to let this hold me back in the kitchen. Then, I tried to open a can of cannellini beans. I was only partially defeated, getting the can halfway open with the use of a can opener, a knife, a spoon and my armpit. But after a good twenty minutes, I got those beans into the food processor and made myself some delicious bean purée. That was when I decided to take this little set back as an opportunity to get creative, and to invest in an electric can opener. And so I present to you, my first installment of one handed meals.

I knew my favorite ancient grain would be easy to make. The vegetable broth that I use comes in a box, so the can issue would be avoided. But, I wasn’t sure what I was going to mix into it that didn’t involve a lot of chopping. I wounded my left hand which also happens to be my dominant hand. Let’s just say that if my right handed writing is any indication of how non-ambidextrous I am, I should probably stay away from sharp knives for the time being. I eyed the cherry tomatoes in my refrigerator and realized they were the perfect size to consume unchopped. Since one can never go wrong with cheese, I started drooling over the idea of warm cheesy quinoa with the hint of fresh sweet tomatoes to complement. I took the one handed route with some parmesan and instead of grating it myself, I bought some pre-grated. The next thing I knew, I was whizzing through the kitchen with ease and had prepared myself a meal. I even got fancy with the tomatoes and and cooked them in a little sweet balsamic vinegar. Here’s how I made it (with one hand)…

1 cup red quinoa
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (you can add more if you like a lot of cheese)
1 cup cherry tomatoes (the smaller the better)
4 tbs thick balsamic vinegar
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa in vegetable broth according to instructions on package. For the tomatoes, I took a rather different approach to sweetening them. Since I was leaving them whole, I decided to blanc them in some boiling water to soften them. I then sauteed them in a pan with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. This worked great, but you could also slice them and roast with balsamic in the oven at about 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. When the quinoa finishes cooking, mix in the parmesan and the sauteed/roasted balsamic tomatoes.


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