This is adapted from “Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way” by Lorna Sass.

Picadillo, a zesty ground beef stew of Spanish origin, was welcomed enthusiastically into the kitchens of many Caribbean and Latin American cooks during the Colonial period.  Though picadillo is traditionally served over rice, by mixing high-protein quinoa right into the stew, you can go easy on the meat and still have a very satisfying meal.


I cooked it in my pressure cooker to avoid standing over the hot stove, but I think it could work on the stovetop as well!  This turns out spicier than you would think, but delicious!


    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
    • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 Cup TVP + 1/2 C water – or 1 C other meat substitute or  cooked ground meat
    • 8 ounces baby bellas, chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, with liquid
    • 1/3 cup hot olive mix, chopped (Can use green olives for less heat)
    • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
    • 1/2 C quinoa
    • fresh ground pepper, to taste
    • lime wedges, to serve


  1. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large, deep skillet.
  2. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cumin and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Add the contents of the skillet, quinoa, TVP, salt, oregano, chili powder, cinnamon, 1/2 C water, capers, and tomatoes to your pressure cooker and cook on rice setting (if your cooker doesn’t have a rice setting, cook how you would normally cook rice)
  5. No pressure cooker? Bring above ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer the mixture until the flavors have mingled and the quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes.  You may need to add extra water if you’re doing it this way.
  6. In the meantime, quickly sauté the pepper in the skillet you used earlier.
  7. Stir in the hot olive mix, peppers. and ground pepper.
  8. Serve in large, shallow bowls, giving a squeeze of fresh lime if desired.

Submitted to:

Veggie Converter
Just Another Meatless Monday
my meatless mondays
Recipe Sharing Monday
Hearth and Soul
Tasty Tuesday – FTLOB

12 thoughts on “Quinoa Picadello

  1. This sounds like something we might like, except I have heard of quinoa but have no idea what it is and where do you find hot olive mix (never heard of it)?

  2. “…A portion of the American public will not look kindly to the hero welcome by the left in Canada.”I’m certain of this and a few well written letters to some choice newspapers; a few links to certain American blogs should help speed that along.Let’s see….. there are Democrat states that are blaming NAFTA for the American economic troubles. There are Repubican states that won’t be thrilled about a Canadian pull out of Afghanistan. There is a overly sensitive president who wants to blame someone for trouble in both of these areas.Yes, I think those small flames could be fanned higher quite nicely.

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