This is what happens when you are too lazy to go to the grocery store to get quinoa. Laziness never tasted so good. My whole plan was to make my zucchini and black bean quinoa bake which would have worked out fine except standing in Walmart buying paper towels I decided I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store I buy my food at. It would be a whole extra trip and time and etc etc and I just wasn’t feeling it lol. I wanted to go home and make pickled hot peppers. Well, I figured Walmart would have quinoa, I’ve seen it there before. Well, naturally, the tag and price was there but above it was a nice empty spot. Cool. I also refused to buy a zucchini there and all of mine were frozen solid at home. Double cool. So, backup plan, I bought some wild rice and thought I could make the quinoa bake with wild rice and I would just quick thaw my zucchini easy peasy. Well, halfway through making this (and remembering my friend the zucchini was still in the freezer) I decided to just free ball it and I came up with this concoction. I mixed in onions, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, basil, and a can of tomato sauce. Oh my gosh, happiness. This is SO incredibly yummy and creamy and healthy and sprinkle some fresh parmesan cheese on it and you are in heaven my friend.
If you read my latest garden update you know that my cherry tomato plant is a monster so I have been blessed with the worlds supply of cherry tomatoes. Which is totally fine with me. I have been sharing with the neighbors and making lots of yummy mater dishes. Last time I made my quinoa bake I added cherry tomatoes, and Matt totally loved it, which is why I was attempting to make it again. I also have a lot of bell peppers and onions right now because my sister, mom, grandma, and I just canned 126 jars of salsa. Yes, you read that correctly, one hundred and twenty six. Yes, we are slightly crazy, but split 4 ways it really doesn’t turn out to be all that much per person (and we all like to give a lot away). We spent literally ALL day Saturday canning. I am not kidding you. We pulled the last jar out of the canner at 1:30 AM. The things we will do for fresh salsa. But, we had a few leftover bell peppers and onions (I bought 2 bushels of peppers and 50 lbs of onions) so I was trying to use them up!
Originally, I was thinking to bake this dish after I cooked it on the stove, like I do with the quinoa bake, but it really didn’t need it. It was thick and creamy and tasted so delicious just like that. So, that made this recipe extra awesome because it only used 1 pot so cleanup was a total breeze. This rice has a bit of an Italian spin to it because of the tomato sauce and basil, it almost reminded me of a pasta dish, but in rice form. You could totally add a protein element to this too. Maybe some chicken or sausage mixed in would be delicious. I was also going to add cannellini beans (which we all know I love) but again, I forgot. Any seasonal veggies you have on hand would work awesome here too. Zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, etc. The possibilities are endless! I cooked the rice in homemade vegetable broth to give it an extra flavor boost, but you could just as easily use water. I hope you guys try this one because I think you will all really love it.
- 1½ cups wild rice
- 2½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups chopped peppers
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 cloves minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons diced basil
- ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- fresh grated parmesan
- In a large saucepan (with walls) combine rice and vegetable stock over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook about 45 minutes (check the package directions for your rice as it may differ) until all liquid is absorbed.
- Add all remaining ingredients (except for parmesan) and simmer over medium heat until thickened and creamy and vegetables have softened (about 15 minutes).
- Serve hot with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese.