Cheezy Pumpkin and Spinach Quinoa

This recipe I found,compliments of   As usual, I took the original recipe and tweaked it according to my tastes and healthy lifestyle.  I added protein to make this a complete meal.  I soak the quinoa overnight, or for at least 4 hours before cooking (I use my handy dandy rice cooker, thanks to my mother-in-law who gifted this to me a few years ago)  Soaking allows the seeds to sprout and increase digestion.  Sprouting enhances protein and vitamins and minerals by 50 % or more.  Now, mind you, quinoa is a seed, from the spinach family, that is actually a complete protein.  So, technically, you don’t need to add the spinach or beans, which I put as optional.  But if you have a family member that declares that it is not a meal without more protein, then there you go.  Also, notice, that even though the name of this recipe says “Cheesy”, there is not a trace of dairy or cheese in this dish.  It is the nutritional yeast that gives this recipe that cheesy flavor and a hearty boost of Vitamin B12, which is a difficult vitamin to get from foods, if you are a vegetarian.  You could substitute Parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast, if desired.

Try it!  You won’t be disappointed!


1 cup quinoa, soaked 4 hours, rinse and let sprout

1 onion, diced

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

3 cups chicken (or vegetable stock)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 cup. nutritional yeast (not brewer’s yeast)

1 cup, baby spinach, chopped

1 15.5 oz white beans, drained, or 1 cup chopped cooked chicken (optional)


Drain and cook quinoa according to package instructions.

In the meanwhile, in heated olive or coconut oil,  saute onion and garlic till translucent.  Add pumpkin puree, chicken stock, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered.

Remove from heat.   Stir in nutritional yeast; add quinoa and spinach.  Stir gently to combine.  Adjust thickness with extra stock.  Add chicken or beans, if using.   Heat thoroughly, adding liquid as needed.

Serve hot.

Refrigerate leftovers in covered container for up to 3 or 4 days.