Necessity is the mother of invention. Aka, when it’s the middle of the week and you still haven’t made it to the store, you have to be creative if you want to eat. That’s how we have been rolling the last few days. I send Manatee texts asking if he wants to do [insert his favorite take out] or [insert something I know he doesn’t like but we have at home]. Each time he picks the make at home version.


If I was smart, I would intentionally botch it, but no, I decide to get creative (with the safety net being if it’s really terrible, we will get takeout). Sometimes that leads to inedible green bean fries (Monday night) and sometimes that leads to amazing creations like Coconut Lime Quinoa.

For this dish, I wanted to jazz up the quinoa with coconut milk and I also had to use up some of our CSA vegetables. I was determined to keep it to one pan and without adding any time to the quinoa cooking time (15-20 minutes). The result? A side dish packed with flavor and veggies.


Coconut Lime Quinoa
Serves 4
A Thai-inspired side dish packed with protein, veggies, and flavor.

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Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
20 min

Total Time
30 min

Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
20 min

Total Time
30 min

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk (lite or regular)
juice from 1 medium lime
2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
1 cup cauliflower, cut in bite-sized florets
1/2 cup onion, large diced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
Sriracha to taste

Whisk together coconut milk, vegetable broth, and lime juice in a medium-sized saucepan.
Heat over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium low, add veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, onions, carrots, and mushrooms).
Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until quinoa has absorbed liquid. Fluff with a fork before serving. Add Sriracha to taste.

To speed up the process and aid in clean up, look for pre-rinsed quinoa.
To make this a main dish, add cubed tofu with the veggies.
Substitute whatever vegetables you have around. Sweet peppers or cabbage would also be really good in this dish.

Badger Girl Learns to Cook by Kimberly Aime

Recipe Review:

Manatee made the mistake of telling me a few days ago that he didn’t like quinoa. In my post partum hormonal stage, he may as well have told me that he no longer loved me. Phrases like: “How could you?” and “What else have you lied about, Manatee? If that is your name” may have come out of my lips.

This dish was my revenge. As he went for this third helping, I smirked. “I thought you didn’t like quinoa,” I said casually. “I like it only when you make it like this,” he responded.


This dish is comfort food at its best even though it’s still pretty darn healthy for you. Creamy, spicy, and packed with veggies. And, even I have to admit, way better than takeout.


What are your tips for making a meal out of what is at hand? Any ingredients you struggle with?


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