EGG ON TOP MEALS: Polenta with Fried Capers, Red Pepper, and an Egg; Grits with Old Bay Frizzled Shallots and a Fried Egg; “Eggs in Pipérade” Pizzas with Crispy Prosciutto; Baked Eggs with Tomatoes & Smoky Potatoes; Ginger-Scallion Noodles
There is perhaps nothing I like better than finding leftover quinoa in a Tupperware in the fridge. And if there’s a night when I’ve gone out to dinner with friends while Alex stays home, it’s not unlikely that the next day I will get to feast on the remains of his dinner–unless he’s made himself a pot of quinoa and eaten the whole damn thing.
Some of the most fantastic leftover-based lunches start with that container of cold quinoa. I’ve used it like fried rice, eaten it simply with olive oil, parmesan, and thyme, and recently created a combination so good I can’t believe I’d overlooked it up til now: sautéed mushrooms and quinoa.
Mushrooms have long been paired with grainy carbs. I think of them most of all in kasha, which is one of my least favorite dishes (but then again, mushrooms and I have a long and not always happy history, so you have to take the good with the bad). The point is, their earthiness can complement a grain’s innate earthiness, and when you combine them with the right flavorings and some wilted onions, you’ve got a perfect wintry culinary match.
Since Alex hadn’t left me all that much quinoa, I topped my bowl with an olive oil fried egg. If you’ve got more quinoa to work with or you’ll be on the go, the quinoa and mushrooms are great on their own or with any of the protein-filled toppings suggested below.
From my kitchen, where it’s the year after the year of quinoa (according to an SKC writer, Alex), to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Thyme Mushroom-Quinoa Sauté
Since this makes a great packable lunch, you can obviously just make the quinoa without the fried egg. Though the grain itself is high in protein, to make the dish an even more filling lunch, try adding a handful of toasted walnuts or a sliced, hard-boiled egg. Cubed grilled chicken is a good option too.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, cut into half moons (or 3 scallions, sliced)
6 white mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
Olive Oil Fried Egg
Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring almost constantly, until translucent, 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms are golden and have given up some of their liquid. Add another pinch of salt, the thyme, and the garlic. Cook another minute, then add the quinoa and cook as if stir-frying to combine all the ingredients together. Turn off the heat, add the parmesean, and give it a good mix. Transfer the sauté to a bowl.
Quickly fry an egg in very hot olive oil as directed here, load it on top, and serve.