Quinoa and Israeli Couscous Risotto with Spinach and Parmesan and BIG NEWS!


June 7, 2011 by Dana

I know, I knowww.  You don’t have to say it.  I already know.

I am a bad blogger.

I haven’t posted in a week. And let’s be honest.  That last post was L-A-M-E lame. So really, I haven’t posted a good post in over two weeks.  Super lame.

But I’m back!  And I can assure you that this post is most definitely NOT lame.  Because not only do I have a tasty recipe for you, but I have news.

Big news.

HUGE news.

Jake and I are engaged!!!!

Friday night, we went to dinner Nomad, a romantic little Moroccan restaurant in the East Village.   It was gorgeous out, so we sat outside in the front of the restaurant.  At the end of the meal, Jake got up to go to the “bathroom.”  When he came back to the table, the waitress was following close behind him carrying two glasses of champagne.  She placed the champagne on the table, and Jake got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Of course I cried like a baby said yes!

Jake putting the ring on my finger!

We are both so excited, and can’t wait to start planning!  (Ok, maybe I’m a little more excited about the planning part of it, but we are both really excited.)

I promise to keep you posted on some of the fun wedding updates throughout the planning process. (Who am I kidding? You are going to be up to your ears in wedding updates by the time our wedding rolls around.)

So I hope this exciting news counteracts any prior lameness.  Oh, and this recipe probably doesn’t hurt in the lameness category either.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup israeli couscous
28 oz chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup water
9 oz spinach
2 small carrots, peeled and finely shredded
3 1/2 oz shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

This recipe, from the New Mayo Cookbook, was originally called Quinoa Risotto with Arugula and Parmesan, and didn’t call for any Israeli couscous or spinach.  When I went to make it, I realized I didn’t have enough quinoa on hand and had accidentally bought spinach instead of arugula, so I improvised and added the couscous, which led to a few other measurement adjustments.  Personally, I thought the mixture of both couscous and quinoa was great, and would recommend this version wholeheartedly.


1.  In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and sautee until soft and transluscent, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic, quinoa and couscous, and cook for about 1 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Do not let the garlic brown. 

2.  Add the stock and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the quinoa is almost tender to the bite, but slightly hard in the center, about 12 minutes.  The mixture will be brothy.  Stir in the spinach, carrots, and mushrooms, and simmer until the quinoa grains and couscous are cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.  

3.  Stir in the cheese, and season with the salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.  

Like I said, I would definitely recommend this recipe wholeheartedly.  Both Jake and I liked it (although Jake picked out the mushrooms.  That’s ok – more for me!)  It makes a great side dish, and would be the perfect accompaniment to chicken, fish, or even a burger.   Enjoy!

37 thoughts on “Quinoa and Israeli Couscous Risotto with Spinach and Parmesan and BIG NEWS!

  1. Wow! Awesome news Dana!! Congratulations to you both!!! Definitely enjoy the planning!!
    This recipe isn’t lame either! Looks incredible!!! I am definitely going to try it! Love my quinoa!

  2. Congratulations!! How awesome for you!

    Love the recipe, love quinoa!

  3. Oops, I linked the wrong blog. :-)

  4. Kocinera says:

    Congratulations!! How exciting! I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures in wedding planning. :D

  5. Congratulations!! So cute that you have a picture of the proposal – I can tell that you look so happy!

  6. Veronica says:

    Dana, I’m soooo happy for you! Congratulations! Did he arrange for the waitress to take a pic too? I love that moment is documented with a photograph–how cool! Your risotto looks scrumptious, too. :)

    • The waitress actually happened to be a photographer as well. There was a short lag between the time Jake proposed and put the ring on my finger, because the ring was a t the bottom of one of the champagne glasses. While we were getting it out, she grabbed her camera and was able to get this photo! So sweet!

  7. DANA!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am SO excited for you. I am excited about the updates that are to come. I’ll be reading!
    And by the way, I LOVE Israeli couscous and this is a recipe I’ll definitely be trying.

  8. Congratulations!!! So very exciting!

  9. Thank you all for the well wishes!!!

  10. OMG! Dana Im so excited for you!! congratulation to the both of you. that is sooooo romantic:) thank you for sharing it with us and have a great day!

  11. sara says:

    Yum, I’m SO into Israeli couscous lately – it’s so yummy! Love the look of this risotto, yum!

  12. Screw the recipe, which looks awesome, CONGRATULATIONS!

  13. Congratulations Dana!

  14. Congratulations to you both!!! So happy for you:-)

  15. YAY!!! Congratulations! That is SO exciting!

  16. myblogject says:

    Wow congrats. Wonderful news

  17. Faith says:

    Awww, that’s so sweet!! A huge congrats to you both!

  18. Liz says:

    What exciting news!!! Congratulations! And this is definitely not a lame dish :) It looks fabulous…I never thought of combining quinoa and Israeli couscous, but I love them both. Great idea~

  19. Congratulations! What a romantic way to propose. :) That risotto looks really good. I think the combination of grains just makes it all the better- it looks like it would make great lunch leftovers for the next day, too. :)

  20. Danelle says:

    Congratulations! I thought the quinoa recipe was exciting until I saw the the engagement news! :) Best wishes to both of you.

  21. Danielle says:

    YAYAYAYAYAYAY! I know I said it once but I’ll say it again–congratulations!!! So excited for you and hope we meet up soon so I can get a look at this ring :)

  22. Judy says:

    What a sweet story with a great recipe. Congratulations on your engagement!

  23. aww congrats!! i am so happy for you and jake!! i was just telling my boss after yet another lunch at whole foods how i needed NEEDED to know how to make quinoa… and you just made that happen! :) can’t wait to make it!

  24. Aarthi says:

    This looks yummy….you have a lovely blog…I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that

  25. Tes says:

    Congratulation, Dana! Oh that’s just so romatic :) I am so happy for you :)

  26. Woohoo! Congratulations! And hey that couscous looks pretty good too ;-)

  27. Reeni says:

    Congratulations Dana! I’m so excited and happy for you! Your couscous risotto is so creative – love the idea – and the delicious flavors you infused into it!

  28. Dana, congratulations. I’m so happy for you. Can’t wait to read all the details about the wedding, oh, and the photo, such a sweet memory.
    Your risotto looks great, love both quinoa and israeli couscous. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy weekend

  29. Joanne says:

    AHHHHHH!!!!!! I’m jumping! Up and down! So excited! Congratulations!

    We need to actually FINALLY meet and celebrate! Yes? YES?!?!?!?

    And I love quinoa and couscous and risotto and this whole entire dish. Score.

  30. janiscooking says:

    Congratulations, Dana! that’s really great news :) planning for the wedding is exciting and I’m so sure you’ll be a lovely bride. Take away all the stress and don’t mind the lameness :) The wedding is much more important :P

  31. Yum!!! This looks wonderful! I’ll have to try this sometime. I love anything with spinach and Parmesan! Congratulations on your engagement by the way! :)

  32. This risotto sounds fabulous! Great for summer parties.
    It is vegetarian week at Get Grillin’ we would love if you submitted up to any 3 recipes (they don’t have to be grilled) to our link up. This one would be perfect!
    This week we have a ManPans giveaway. http://su.pr/3GCtXU

  33. Hooray and congratulations!!!

  34. […] 7. Post You Are Most Proud Of: Quinoa and Israeli Couscous Risotto with Spinach and Parmesan and BIG NEWS! […]

  35. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    HOW did I miss this…I’m a horrible blogger friend. Congratulations…super late :)

  36. […] So what, you ask, is the reason for my leave of absence?  Well, you may remember back last year I posted a little something about me and Jake getting engaged. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: