Healthy and satisfying coconut quinoa with broccoli and cauliflower recipe that happens to be both vegan and gluten-free!
This coconut quinoa with broccoli and cauliflower is a recipe that’s in regular rotation in my kitchen. It’s inspired by a NY Times recipe by Marcus Samuelsson. When I want a heartier meal that’s still vegetarian, I make some scrambled eggs or tofu to go alongside. You can also dress it up with salmon if you eat fish. It’s salty, flavorful, and full of good vegetables — and happens to be vegan and gluten-free.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Quinoa. Well, the quinoa is why I love this recipe (and maybe you will too?) as I’m a certified quinoa fan (evidence of baby food writer me with my first article written for NPR back in 2007, all about quinoa). Quinoa is a complete protein, a seed (so if you’re grain-free it suits that diet), and just an overall great way to fill out a vegan plate.
Loaded with vegetables. Carrots, garlic, roasted cauliflower, and broccoli are all found in this dish. I also like to serve it with roasted sweet potatoes and/or a salad.
Super flavorful. I love cooking quinoa in coconut milk, as we do in this recipe, as it adds so much flavor to the quinoa base! You’ll also toast the quinoa before cooking it which gives it a lovely nutty toastiness.
What You’ll Need for This Recipe
- Cauliflower: I use a medium cauliflower
- Olive oil
- Quinoa: I prefer white quinoa for this recipe
- Coconut milk: Either whole fat or reduced fat coconut milk will work
- Fresh ginger
- Salt and pepper
How to Make Coconut Quinoa with Broccoli
Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for the full instructions.
- Roast cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 375° and have a pan ready. Break the cauliflower into small pieces and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
- Make quinoa. Toast quinoa in olive oil in a heavy saucepan until fragrant. Cook with the coconut milk and water until water is absorbed.
- Cook vegetables. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and cook the garlic, ginger and carrot until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli and cook, stirring frequently. When the cauliflower is done, add the cauliflower to the skillet and mix to incorporate.
- Assemble. Add the quinoa to the skillet and mix it in with the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
- With tofu. For a completely gluten-free and vegan meal, serve this quinoa alongside slices of marinated and fried tofu.
- With scrambled eggs. My favorite and easiest way to add extra protein, I’ll scramble couple of eggs and serve them with a plate of quinoa.
- With fish. As shown, salmon is especially complementary to this meal. I like to bake my salmon at 350 F with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
- With a salad. For a lighter meal, make a big green salad full of fresh, raw vegetables and serve it with the quinoa.
- With roasted sweet potatoes. Let’s say with vegetables that more is more. So add more goodness to this meal with sweet roasted sweet potatoes.
Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 days. You can eat straight from the fridge or gently rewarm in the microwave or in a frying pan on the stove.
Coconut Quinoa with Broccoli and Cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup quinoa
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Have a 9×13 baking pan or baking sheet ready. Wash and then break up the cauliflower into smallish pieces. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes-1 hour.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan on medium-low and add the quinoa. Toast the quinoa until fragrant, stirring often, for a few minutes. Then add 1½ cups water, ½ cup coconut milk and ½ teaspoon salt to the quinoa bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until quinoa has absorbed the liquid, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
- While quinoa is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the garlic, ginger and carrot and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Then add broccoli and cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. When the cauliflower is done, add the cauliflower to the skillet and mix to incorporate.
- Add the quinoa to the skillet and mix it in with the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.