I just spent the last 12 days traveling through Switzerland with D and one of my close friends from college. Switzerland is truly gorgeous. Lakes, mountains, old cities, unique architecture, you name it.
There’s one problem though. The country is obscenely expensive. And I mean seriously out of control. We’re talking $9 Starbucks iced coffees, $22 hash browns and $40 10 bed hostel dorm rooms.
We came in just under $100 a day each and that’s with 4 nights of free accommodation and eating meals almost strictly from the supermarket.
In 12 days we only had 2 restaurant meals – only out of the need to at least sample the local fare – fondue, raclette and rosti. Rosti – essentially a plate of hash browns was over $20 and fondue, a pot of liquid cheese along with raclette, melted cheese, was over $40.
Luckily Switzerland has got some great supermarkets where you can find ready made meals or just buy bread, cold cuts, veggies, and cheese to make your own sandwiches.
Unfortunately I never did find any quinoa in stores there, but if I had this is the dish I would have made (and it wouldn’t have broken the bank).
Who needs meat or seafood when quinoa provides all the protein needed? This simple dish can be made if you’re at home with a fully stocked kitchen or on the road trying to buy things in small portions. Can’t find quinoa? Use couscous or pasta instead. I prefer the quinoa though.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1¾ cup water or vegetable broth
- 4 cloves garlic minced (divided)
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- 6 sun dried tomatoes, diced
- 6 large cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 2 handfuls salad greens
- 1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- salt, pepper to taste
- Heat pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil, quinoa and half the minced garlic. Cook until quinoa is just lightly toasted, a couple minutes. Add broth or water, and salt, and bring to a boil and simmer, covered for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
- In a pan, heat remaining oil over medium heat and cook mushrooms in a single layer until lightly browned on both sides. Remove from the pan. Add sun dried tomatoes and garlic to the pan,and cook until garlic is aromatic 1-2 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook lightly.
- Add mushrooms back to the pan, salt and balsamic vinegar and cook 1-2 more minutes.
- When quinoa is cooked through combine quinoa with vegetable mix, throwing in a few handfuls of salad greens. Toss until thoroughly mixed.