Whenever I'm dining out with a friend and they order wings, my favorite thing to do is to help them finish their dish by eating the celery, carrots, and hot sauce that come on the side. There's something about devouring a cold piece of celery covered in a spicy dip. Is it the hot sauce's biting flavor and the celery's snappy taste and texture? Perhaps. Or have I reached a new level of plant-based eating that a simple celery with hot sauce makes my shoulders bounce in excitement? Definitely.

Craving this flavor combination, I decided to try to make my own hot sauce. While I was heating it up on the stove, I realized that I made too big of a batch. I love hot sauce, but not that much. I decided to throw some mushroom and quinoa in it and see what would happen. The result? A mushroom quinoa dip that satisfied my hankering for something fiery and refreshing to touch my tongue.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper with seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small tomato
  • Handful white mushrooms
  • Lemon slice
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder

  • Slice onion, pepper, lemon, mushrooms, and tomato
  • Place in a blender and mix

  • Pour into a medium sized pot, add water, and bring to a boil
  • Add quinoa and mushrooms, stir
  • Add desired amount of cumin, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (add more cayenne for an extra hot kick), stir, and cover
  • Reduce stove heat to medium, simmer for 20-25 minutes or until quinoa is very soft, stirring occasionally