I’m sure I don’t have to tell you the biggest occupational hazard of writing a cookbook is getting fat. I just added an hour walk to my daily routine, but even so, my body and my brain seem to think a plate of cookies for my book—whether the recipe passes or fails—should be scarfed down, with the best intentions of being better tomorrow. Mm-hm. Right.

Last week, when I needed rescuing from junk food, I turned to Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison. She has this one recipe called Curried Quinoa with Peas and Cashews, which was the first I ever tried from the book. It is so glorious and satisfying that every time I make it, I go through a phase where I seriously contemplate becoming vegan. And then I remember eggs and cheese, and then I think I should just be vegetarian. A few minutes after that, I remember how much I like steak, and I drop the whole idea. One day, maybe.

quinoa and zucchini curry

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons curry powder (I got mine at the Indian market, which is now out of business, so just whatever kind you can find)
1 cup quinoa, white or red, or mixed
kosher salt and pepper
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup carrot juice (Odwalla makes it, or you can juice carrots if you have a juicer)
1 cup frozen peas
butter (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over low heat. Add half of the onion, and saute until the onions are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, quinoa, and a pinch of salt, and cook for 2 minutes more. Cover with 2 cups of very hot water, raise heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

2. In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat, and add in the rest of the onion. Cook until the onions start to become tender, about 5 minutes. Raise heat to medium high, and add in zucchini. Cook until zucchini begins to brown along the edges. Stir in curry powder, and cook until fragrant, about a minute more. Add 1/4 cup of water and the carrot juice, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. When the quinoa finishes cooking, pour in the peas, followed by the zucchini mixture. Add more salt, as needed. Stir, and serve with butter, if desired.