If you all have been following my journey for a while, you probably realize that I tend to keep my side dishes really simple. I usually pair my ‘entree’ with a simple carb and then a steamed or roasted veggie…you might say boring, but it tends to work for me and is an easy route to go. I just never feel like spending extra time on the ‘side dish’. But enter this Cheesy Zucchini Quinoa and you have anything BUT a boring, routine side dish. I actually don’t think I’ll ever go back to eating plain Quinoa ever again! Making this doesn’t add any extra time or much extra effort at all, but it is so darn tasty!
I mean, it’s the simplest combo, just some basic quinoa with a little shredded zucchini & Parmesan cheese. But adding in those 2 extra ingredients really does make a world of difference. Plus, I love that the shredded zucchini bulks up the quinoa so you feel like you’re getting an enormous serving size! Because who doesn’t want a giant serving of carbs in their life…right?!
I follow the 21 Day Fix/Portion Fix guidelines when it comes to my servings and so I usually eat 1/2 of a cup of carbs as a time, but by adding in the shredded zucchini, you’ll end up with a bigger serving and it feels so indulgent! Which is my favorite way to feel when I’m eating healthy!! And I served mine with some simple Chipotle Grilled Chicken and roasted asparagus and this meal was so satisfying and delicious, not to mention reaaaally easy to throw together after a busy day!
For my fellow 21 Day Fix friends, a serving of this (half the recipe) would count as 1 yellow (quinoa), 1/2 green (zucchini) and 1 blue (cheese). Honestly, if you want to save your blue container, you could totally make this without the cheese too…it wouldn’t be as indulgent, but the method of adding shredded veggies into your carbs to bulk the serving up even more is just a great idea in itself. You could just stir in a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt & a little lemon juice and dill to add more flavor to the mixture without the cheese! Just tons of possibilities over all and I’m excited to play around with some different flavor combos for this!
Cheesy Zucchini Quinoa
Quinoa mixed w/ shredded zucchini, garlic & cheese to create a delicious, simple & healthy side dish
- 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 zucchini, grated (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese, I used Parmesan
- Sea salt
Cook the quinoa according to package directions
When the quinoa has about 2-3 minutes left to cook, stir in the shredded zucchini and minced garlic. Continue cooking until quinoa is done and zucchini has softened.
Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheese. Serve warm.
21 Day Fix Serving: 1 yellow, 1/2 green, 1 blue
P.P.S. Want some help & motivation finding a fitness & nutrition program that will work for you and then have help getting starting & sticking with it?! Fill out this form for more info on my next Challenge Group!