Mushroom and Leek Quinoa

Final 2

Happy 2015!

I’m sure you guys are bombarded with New Year’s resolutions and what not. It’s almost impossible not to feel the pressure from our social media newsfeed. Meanwhile, I’ve been indulging in Netflix marathons. I’m only human.


To lessen my guilt of binge watching everything, I have made this dish to guide me onto the path of fitness inspiration. This quinoa recipe is made with roasted mushrooms, sautéed leeks with garlic, and toasted almonds – all wonderful ingredients to nourish a new you. The mushrooms taste similar to crispy pork skins after roasting them – a trick I learned from a chef. The garlicky leeks are amazing and I could eat these all day.


This dish also helps me miss summer less – these are ingredients I’d buy weekly at the farmers’ market. Since the days are slowly getting longer again, consider this post my countdown to springtime.

This is a delicious way to start the New Year with no compromise on taste.



Mushroom and Leek Quinoa
by W.
serves about 3-4

1½ cup quinoa
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced into thirds
1 cup oyster mushrooms, chopped or tear by hand
2 stalks of leeks, cleaned and cut into 1½” length
¼ cup parsley, chopped
¼ cup sliced almonds
5 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Clean and slice the mushrooms to about bite-size. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the mushrooms in the pan and dress with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Once mixed thoroughly, arrange them in a single layer so they can roast evenly. Crush the dried thyme between your fingers and sprinkle on top. Place the pan in the oven and let them crisp for 25-30 minutes, or until brown.

In a pan over medium heat, toast the almonds for about 4-5 minutes. Keep an eye in them and don’t let them burn. Once they turn a light brown and you can smell the nutty aroma, take them off the heat and set them aside to cool. We will use these to garnish later.

In a medium saucepan, wash the quinoa and cook them following the instructions. Add about ¼ teaspoon of salt to start seasoning early. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes once you place the lid on.

Heat up a frying pan on medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Throw in the leeks and sauté for 7-8 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and stir occasionally to ensure even cooking. They should start to turn soft and slightly brown. Add the minced garlic and another tablespoon of olive oil. Reduce to low heat – this will slowly infuse the oil with garlic. Let them cook together for about 2 minutes. Once the garlic is a golden color, the leeks portion is complete. Turn off the heat and add salt and pepper for seasoning.

By this time, the quinoa should be ready. Fluff them and add the garlicky leeks along with the aromatic oil to the quinoa. Check the mushrooms and taste for seasoning. They should look crispy and golden. Add these to the quinoa as well.

Toss in the chopped parsley and mix everything together. Add more olive oil as needed and adjust seasoning before serving. Top off with toasted almonds.


To a delicious year!


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