Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes with Crimini Mushrooms

This wonderful recipe was given to me by a wonderful gal in North Dakota, and her name is also Christine. It is very tasty! Another reason to use Quinoa.


Marsala Braised Quinoa with Crimini Mushrooms In Roasted Tomato
4 servings

• 1 cup Red  Quinoa + 2 cups Water, prepared in rice cooker (you can prepare it in a pot with boiling water and a bit of salt)
• 1 tsp.  dried basil

1/2 cup fresh Cilantro

• 4 Roasted Tomatoes, prepared with Olive Oil an d Sea Salt
• 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
• 2 Shallots, minced
• 1/2 lb Crimini Mushroom caps, minced
• 1/4 cup Marsala Wine
• 2 Tbsp Tamari (wheat-free, organic soy sauce)

* *Optional: feta or Parmesan cheese

Roasted tomatoes can be tricky to get the timing just right. Roasting tomatoes a minute too long will leave you with a mushy flattened skin – so this recipe works best if you mince the vegetables, cook the quinoa and chop and mix dry ingredients prior to roasting tomatoes. I suggest roasting until still a bit firm, then covering with tin foil to soften up more.

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 for roasting tomatoes
2. Cook red quinoa following directions on package–a rice cooker works great. (this means 1 part qunioa and 2 parts water, in saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. When done, the grain appears soft and the red becomes translucent. The germ ring will e visible along the outside edge of the grain.)
3. While quinoa is cooking, mince shallots and mushrooms and set aside.
4. Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
5. When quinoa  has cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
6. Prepare tomato for roasting:
○ Use a small sharp knife to cut into the center of tomato
○ A carefully cut off top with small portion of vine remaining can also be roasted and used as a garnish when serving
○ Use a spoon to carefully scoop out most of the inside of tomato – leaving more solid fibers to help hold tomato shape
○ Try to remove as much of the liquid and seeds in the tomato as possible
○ Put some olive oil in the palm of your hand; lightly coat the tomato with oil
○ Coat with a small amount of sea salt
○ Place tomato in a snug round baking dish, or place each tomato in it’s own small pyrex bowl to help keep it’s shape while roasting
○ Place in oven – keeping a close eye on tomato so as not to overcook — jus t until skin is slightly soft and retains shape; 10-12 minutes.
○ When roasted, remove from oven and set aside.
○ If needed, drain out water from inside tomato as it cools.
7. Warm a heavy bottomed skillet and add 2 Tbsp. olive oil
8. Add minced shallots, cooking slowly until shallots are clear, soft and beginning to brown.
9. Add mushrooms, toss well, and then spread out over the pan, stirring occasionally always returning them to clover the surface of the pan.
10. Cook until mushrooms are deep brown.
11. Add cooked quinoa, mix well.
12. When grain is thoroughly heated and may be sticking slightly to the pan, add Marsala, stir.
13. Add tamari and stir.
14. Cover for a few minutes.
15. Toss previously mixed minced fresh herbs into the grain, stir.
16. Use mixture to fill roasted tomatoes. If individual bowls were used for cooking, keep tomatoes in bowls while filling  with quinoa mixture. Place on plates jus t prior to serving to help tomato keep its’ shape. You may wish to place the stuffed tomato on a whole basil leaf for garnish or add Feta or Parmesan Cheese on the top of each tomato.



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