Cool new recipe for you! I developed this as a quick side to go with our first grilled steaks of the season. MMM.
I used black quinoa in this recipe because I saw it at the store and wanted to try it. But, you can use whatever kind you like. And, in fact, I didn't really like the black quinoa because it is a bit crunchy-ish, even after it is fully cooked. Kind of like steel cut oats never quite get all the way soft... My kids didn't care for the texture. But the overall dish ended up quite good, in my (and Chris'!) opinion. (I always get excited when Chris likes something new I just made up!)
Beet and Parsnip Quinoa
One Beet, diced into half inch cubes (with the skin taken off first)
One parsnip, skin off, diced into half inch pieces
One cup Quinoa
Half an onion, diced
One or two cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
3-4 cups water
Over medium high heat, cook the onion, beets and parsnips in olive oil, about 5-7 minutes until they start to get soft. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds to a minute (Don't burn the garlic). Add the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 15-30 minutes until the quinoa is cooked and the water is absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When I made this, it simmered for a good 30 minutes. The beets were just barely soft-- not crunchy, were still firm. I really liked them that way. If you want them more cooked, just simmer longer, adding a bit of water as necessary. One note, though is that the black quinoa did not get mushy as it simmered longer. White and red will get mushy if they cook too long, so consider starting the beets earlier than everything else if using white or red and you want really soft beets.