Quinoa with Garlic, Spinach and Dried Cherries

I had a very busy weekend which meant I wasn’t around to cook for my kids. I had a pleasant reminder of this when my husband said to them, “Isn’t it nice to have Mommy home for dinner?” Let me just say, I’m always home for dinner!!! I mouthed something I can’t repeat here.

To make up for my two evening absence, I took the 5-year-old to the Trader Joe’s yesterday to help me pick out something to make for dinner. We had 20 minutes before picking up the 4-year-old. We spent 10 of those minutes talking about ice cream, one of my favorite subjects. When we finally pulled ourselves away from the freezer section we ended up at the dried fruit area. I wanted to cook quinoa and I had a hankering for cherries after having a lentil, brown rice, and cherry salad from Urban Green Cuisine. There were four different kinds of cherries so I asked the woman standing next to me what I should get. She told me to buy Montmorency Cherries because they are packed with antioxidants. I get all of my cooking tips from random people I run into at the grocery store, so I bought them. The 5-year-old promised he’d eat whatever meal I came up with that involved cherries (He did not).

Here’s what I came up with:
Quinoa with Garlic, Spinach and Dried Cherries

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add 1 cup quinoa. Simmer for about 12 minutes or until it’s fluffy and the water is gone.

While that’s cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil (or grapeseed oil) in a pan with a heaping teaspoon of minced garlic. Saute 1 bunch or a 6 oz. bag of spinach until wilted.

When the quinoa is ready, mix it into the spinach and add a ½ cup of dried cherries. Sprinkle with grated or shaved Parmigiano and Reggiano cheese and serve.