One Pot Wonder: Southwestern Quinoa

Jul 11, 2012 by

Please excuse the dark photos :)

Last night I came home exhausted. All I wanted to do was plop my bottom on the couch and snuggle with my puppies. Unfortunately the responsibility of making dinner falls on me, which most days, I like. However, and a big however, sometimes I just want to be lazy. Also, I almost always want a meal that’s going to be satisfying and healthy, which means I can’t ever be too lax in my meal preparations.



Meet: my rice cooker! OoooooooAaaaaaaaaah <—says you. If you you don’t have one, you need to get one. Money is no object when a $15 appliance can save you from the occasional boring frozen dinner or greasy take-out. I promise you’ll make your money back and then some. Don’t be fooled by the name – rice cooker – it can do so much more than cook rice! Try nearly any grain, legume, or vegetable. And, the convenience, my, I could sing it from the rooftops.


Millet bubbling away in the rice cooker.

The genius of the rice cooker really comes into play when you combine everything to make one delicious one pot meal. Think crock pot, but smaller (usually), and less clean up and preparation. You don’t have to think about these meals well in advance. It’s a quick cook device, so you’ll have dinner on the table in 30 minutes with less than 5 minutes of actual prep time. In fact, you can cut that prep time in half by using frozen, pre-chopped veggies.


Southwestern Quinoa (serves 2)


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained (or black beans)
  • 1 serving soy chorizo (can sub with extra seasoning and beans)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


Clean and chop all the veggies. Toss all ingredients into the rice cooker.


Set to cook. (should take about 20 minutes, check midway and perhaps add another dash of water).

Turn off rice cooker as soon as quinoa is cooked. You can allow the mixture to cool off for a few minutes or serve right away.


Yum! :)



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  1. linda piepenbrink

    Looks delicious. Maybe I’ll get a rice cooker

    • Marisa

      It would be a great buy for the lake house! Quick and easy.

  2. Great idea!!! I don’t have a Rice Cooker and instead waste so much money on frozen rice for the convenience. I hate having appliances I rarely use, but I had no idea how useful a rice-cooker could be!