Festive Quinoa

Hello, everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was super busy with work, a fantastic concert, singing at service, and seeing an awesome movie. Peter worked on grading his students’ final exams, so we didn’t see each other much all weekend. Another reason why I’m looking forward to the holidays!

One of the most unusual questions I received during my open hours at Strawberry Fields was from a gentleman asking about nutrition recommendations for Lyme disease. Coming from Connecticut, where the namesake town of Lyme disease is located, I’ve encountered the disease plenty of times. Treating symptoms with food is a no-brainer (e.g. probiotics for GI issues); yet, I wasn’t familiar with connections between nutrition and Lyme disease itself.

Imagine my surprise when, while poking around, I discovered the existence of this book devoted to nutritional strategies for Lyme disease healing. The summary in the above link is an interesting read. Basically, the book highlights an anti-inflammatory diet that supports the digestive and immune systems. Sounds pretty healthy in general, doesn’t it? I hope to lay my hands on a copy of the book at some point – looks fascinating!

On to today’s recipe: I made this protein-packed quinoa dish for a Christmas pasty last week and it was a hit! The red, green, and white colors of this dish are perfect for Christmas AND all year round. Consider a taste of summer for the holidays.

Festive Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes, Spinach, and Cheese

  Prep Time: 5 minutes

  Cook Time: 30 minutes

  Keywords: appetizer entree side vegetarian gluten-free quinoa

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 4 large or 8 small tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups baby spinach, washed thoroughly
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 oz. cheese (I used a combination of mild Harvati and smoked cheddar), chopped into half-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or other flavored vinegar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place quinoa in large bowl and cover with water. Set aside.

Chop tomatoes into large bite-sized pieces. Spread on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.

Meanwhile, rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer (helps remove bitter outer coating). If desired, toast with a tablespoon of olive oil in a small pan. Add to a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in medium skillet and saute spinach until wilted, about 2 minutes.

In large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, roasted tomatoes, spinach, cheese, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold.

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Q: What’s your favorite way to use quinoa?


What are your holiday plans?

P.S. Happy Birthday to brother-in-law Dave! You can see some of his antics in this post.

P.P.S. Happy Birthday to cousin Kyla! She has a fun blog here 🙂


  1. This looks so fresh and yummy! I rarely cook with quinoa, which is a shame since it’s so nutritious and tasty. I guess I’m too addicted to rice haha 😉

    Sounds like you had a fantastic weekend…and the holidays are just around the corner, hooray!

  2. This sounds wonderful, Jessie. I love to use quinoa in so many ways, but especially with salads (like my favorite with EVOO, feta, carrots, dill and cucumber, so good!).
    I don’t know much about Lyme disease at all (only that one person had it while on the Real World and had to leave the show. Sad that I know that….).

    1. lol Gina! I won’t tell 😉

  3. Simply Life says:

    I love how healthy and colorful this is!

  4. This crazy health-infused quinoa salad is exactly the thing I need right now given how much sugar I’ve been eating. Yum!

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