Spanish Quinoa and Peppers (GF)

So I’m going to start off by saying this isn’t a traditional Passover dish. But I’ve come to learn over the years – especially since adopting a plant-based lifestyle, that traditions aren’t written in stone. They are made by those you share them with, and sharing good dishes (whether time-tested or brand new) always make for good traditions.

Our Passover Seder table has changed dramatically over the years. Older generations have passed, giving way to new Matriarchs and Patriarchs at the head of the table. Many little ones have been added to the family (and lengthened our table exponentially), and our menus and tastes (and in some cases, dietary restrictions) have changed.

While I’ve loved getting the chance to recreate the classic dishes of my heritage, I’m also really excited about creating and sharing new dishes as well. Dishes that are cleaner, healthier, more inclusive, and of course – delicious!

This dish is inspired by a quinoa dish shared with me online, and a recipe that my hubby made for Passover a few years ago. I’ve played around with both and come up with this new dish that is bright, full of flavor and color and since it’s both vegan and gluten free, very inclusive. It’s very similar to risotto in that it cooks the same way, slow and low, incorporating and absorbing broth in small amounts until a deep, rich flavor is achieved. I’m hoping it becomes a new Passover tradition for us.

Spanish Quinoa and Peppers


2 tbsp olive oil

1 large sweet onion, diced

2 stalks green onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 tsp salt, divided in half

1 celery stalk, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 orange bell pepper diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 cups green beans, cut

1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp black pepper

½ cup good white wine (optional)

3 cups vegetable broth

1 vegetable bouillon cube

½ cup water

Chopped parsley (for garnish)

Lemon wedges (for garnish)


Heat olive oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add onions and green onions and and saute until soft – about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add diced celery and peppers and ½ tsp salt and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Add tomato paste and green beans, and cook another 2 minutes.

Add quinoa, paprika, remaining ½ tsp salt, pepper and saute with vegetables for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, so that the quinoa is incorporated into the dish. Add wine (if using) and 1 cup of vegetable broth and bouillon cube and bring to a boil.  Immediately reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding another cup of broth as each previous cup is absorbed into the dish. While simmering, preheat oven to 375F.

Transfer contents of pan into a 9×13 baking dish.  Add ½ cup water evenly over the mix and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven; sprinkle with chopped parsley and squeeze one lemon wedge over the paella. Place remaining lemon wedges in the dish for garnish and use.  Serve immediately.


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