While at my mother’s apartment, a thousand miles from home, I wanted to cook some gluten-free and not too difficult meals, as my mother has about one foot of counter space (and I am not underestimating). We also were on the go in New York City, so we didn’t have time for a big production in the kitchen.
I combined a leftover half an onion from the tostadas we’d made the day before, a zucchini from the farmers’ market, and baby Bellas to make a tasty topping for quinoa pasta. Served with Parmesan cheese, it was a meal in itself. We were able to enjoy it more than once. And I was surprised to find how different it tasted from the other combinations I had tried before (spinach and mushrooms, or squash with onions and garlic).
Preparation time is less than 30 minutes. And you’ll enjoy a delicious, healthy vegetarian meal, which can even be vegan by omitting the cheese.
Zucchini and Mushrooms over Quinoa Pasta
1/2 cup olive oil (more if needed)
4 cloves garlic, minced or chopped fine
1 small onion, sliced thinly and quartered
1 medium zucchini, sliced thinly and halved
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 8 oz. package gluten-free quinoa or other pasta (I like Andean Dream)
Fill large pot with water to cook pasta; heat while cooking vegetables.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for several minutes while chopping other vegetables. Add zucchini and mushrooms, stirring often. Mix in oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. If needed, add more olive oil to provide a sauce for the pasta. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
While vegetables are cooking, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain. Serve vegetables and liquid over pasta, topping with Parmesan cheese at table. Remaining vegetables can be combined with pasta for leftovers. Makes 3-4 servings. Freezes well.
Besides using a slightly different combination of vegetables, I added the salt earlier in the cooking, which makes the vegetables give up more of their liquid, leaving a richer sauce.
So, in addition to sharing a home cooked meal with my mother, I was able to create a new recipe that I look forward to making and eating again.