Quinoa with Cauliflower and Broccoli from the AICR


In its ongoing effort to promote healthy, cancer-preventive lifestyle choices, the American Institute for Cancer Research cooks up nutritious and delicious dishes every week. This week's entry is quinoa with cauliflower and broccoli.

This one-pot dish is packed with flavor, taste and nutrition and just happens to be convenient as well.

From the dish's cruciferous vegetables – cauliflower and broccoli – we get cancer protective glucosinolates such as indoles and isothiocyanantes along with vitamin C and the B vitamin folate. Meanwhile, the oregano delivers antioxidants.

Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is a seed that is native to South America and cooked like a grain. It has all the essential amino acids in higher amounts than you would find in other grains and it is therefore a solid source of protein.

The AICR suggests,

You can serve this dish by itself as a light meal, but for a more substantial repast you can add a portion of roasted chicken. Or add a cucumber salad. Simply dice fresh cucumbers and thinly slice some onions. Add a few tomato wedges and top with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Just like that, lunch or dinner is served.

All recipes offered by the AICR have been vetted and approved by a registered dietitian (RD).

Quinoa with Cauliflower & Broccoli

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 cup chopped onion, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped medium (1 tsp. dried may be substituted)
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped medium (1 tsp. dried may be substituted)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, ½ cup onion and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes until vegetables start to soften. Stir in herbs and sauté two more minutes. Remove from stovetop and set aside.

In strainer, place quinoa and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Using your hand, swish quinoa under running water for 2 minutes to remove natural, bitter coating. Drain and set aside.

In medium saucepan, heat remaining teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add remaining onion. Sauté about 3-4 minutes. Add broth and quinoa. Increase heat to bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.

Gently stir in vegetable mixture and combine well with quinoa. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 120 calories, 3.5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 20 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 50 mg sodium.

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