Quinoa with mushrooms and vegetables, selective focus

The cornucopia overflowing with abundance is an iconic image when Thanksgiving rolls around. With all the potentially delicious, yet not so healthy things on the table, this recipe would be delicious for vegans and carnivores. This dish boasts not only great flavor, but some solid nutritional density, features some local ingrediens and rivals the protein grams of a slice of turkey breast. Feel free to stuff this into a turkey cavern or serve next to Aunt Sally’s cranberry relish. 


3 cups rinsed and cooked quinoa 
1/2 cup diced white onion
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 tsp of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp chopped rosemary 
1/2 tsp sage 
1 cup of roasted chestnuts, diced 
1 cup ali’i mushroom, diced 
4 tbsp of unsalted butter or vegetable oil 
2 tbsp vegetable oil 
3/4 cup vegetable broth 
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat 2 tbsp of butter or oil over medium high heat. Add diced onions, garlic and mushrooms, and allow time to reduce and brown, but be careful to not burn the garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove mixture from saute pan.  
  2. In the same pan, add the remaining 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp oil, add herbs and let flavors extract into the warm butter or oil. Add chestnuts and quinoa to the mixture. 
  3. Over medium high heat, blend ingredients, adding 1/4 of a cup of the broth at a time, each time letting the quinoa sit on the bottom of the pan  for a moment to achieve a bit of a crispy crust. A carbon steel skillet is just the thing for this, or a nice seasoned Le Creuset.  

Maja Liotta is a Maui-based mama and private chef. Her company, Lilikoi Creations LLC specializes in events, retreat catering and onsite daily chef services. mauiprivatecharterchef.com and @chefmajaliotta on Instagram.