, , , , , , , , , , ,

Quinoa, Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushrooms

How hard is it to follow good advice?  Very.  The angel on one shoulder talks to the devil on the other and you are the referee.  Every decision we make has an impact.  Do you labour over each one, or throw in the towel and go with the devil?

In trying to write a recipe for Harriet Sugar Miller’s, soon to be released, Eat and Beat Cancer cookbook, I struggled with myself over whether or not to adhere to the strict guidelines. Really it was the no sugar rule that I was tempted to skirt. Mostly my inner angel obeyed instructions, but the devil in my taste buds won out over the decision to include oyster sauce.  Harriet, please forgive me.

Quinoa with Bok Choy, Shiitake Mushrooms and just a tad of guilt


  • 1 c quinoa
  • 1 1/2 c water if using a rice cooker, 2 c in a pot
  • 1-2 t sesame oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 t coconut oil (good flavour, olive oil will do)
  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked for 30 minutes in hot boiled water, stems removed
  • 4 -6 baby bok choy, cut lengthwise into quarters, rinsed
  • 1 T oyster sauce
  • 1/2 c almonds, roasted then chopped
  • 1/3 c chives, finely chopped

Cook the quinoa in a pot, simmering it for 15 minutes, fluff then add the sesame oil, salt and pepper.

Shiitake mushrooms soaking in boiled water, bok choy, chopped almonds, chives.

Pampered Chef slap chopper, used to coarsely chop the roasted almonds.

The way to roast almonds is slowly on low heat. Don’t roast for too long to get perfect flavour and to keep the health properties intact. Use unsalted nuts, roasting them for 5-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven, in a baking pan, watching them and stirring them about, making sure they don’t get overdone.

Shiitake, plumped up and sliced. Reserve the soaking water for sautéeing, without using much oil.

Sauté the mushrooms in the coconut oil.

After several minutes add the bok choy and a little of the mushroom soaking water. You can cover the pan to steam the veggies for about 3 minutes. You don't want to overcook the bok choy

Cook the quinoa in a pot, simmering it for 15 minutes, fluff then add the sesame oil, salt and pepper. Lay the quinoa on a warm plate, cover with the bok choy, shiitake mushroom mixture. Sprinkle on the chopped almonds and chives.

The devil made me do it!  Well, not exactly the devil.  My sister Julia Richardson gave me flavouring advice.  When Julia advises, it is best to follow. This dish was a major winner. Just ask my friend Grace Lawee, my visiting taste taster and problem solver.  Grace figured out how to get my iPhone camera unjammed in the nick of time.  Grace is making this dish right now – a sure sign that it is a winner.

Julia did say that I could use soya sauce instead of oyster sauce, and Harriet said ” Oysters–aargh. They’re the kidneys of the sea–blobs of sex organs that continuously filter toxins.” Yum. In any case, about a tablespoon of oyster sauce in a whole dish can’t do too much harm.

This was another of my favorite recipe posts to date. Eggplant Carpaccio – On Cloud Nine was my all time favorite.  My second favorite was Jamie Oliver’s Eggplant Parmigiana – Rome wasn’t built in a day.