Vegetarian Quinoa, Cauliflower and Apple Dinner

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Our household is far from vegetarian or vegan – we are big meat eaters! However, that doesn’t mean that eating a diet focused more on plants isn’t something I concentrate on. While I don’t routinely participate in ‘meatless Mondays’ I do try to incorporate vegetarian forms of protein occasionally. This recipe makes use of the Instant Pot to make an easy weeknight meal, complete with a grain, a vegan protein (tempeh), vegetables and fruit!

Now, before you look at this list of ingredients and wrinkle your nose – TRUST ME! You’ll add seasoning after, and the apples won’t taste weird, I promise.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup vegetable broth or water
  • ½ cup fresh mushrooms or 4 oz canned mushrooms
  • ¼ cup finely diced sweet onion
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 brick cubed tempeh
  • 3 apples, sliced (and peeled if desired)
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into sticks
  • Cinnamon, seasoning salt, hot sauce to taste
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Place quinoa in a fine mesh collander and rinse.
  2. Spray inner liner of Instant Pot with nonstick cooking spray or apply a thin layer of cooking oil. Pour in rinsed quinoa, broth, mushrooms, onion, and tomatoes.
  3. Place the divided basket sections on top of quinoa. In one section add tempeh.
  4. In another section of basket, add apple slices.
  5. Add zucchini to third section.
  6. Close and lock lid, set valve to ‘sealing’. Select ‘manual’ and cook for 1 minute on high pressure.
  7. Use natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  8. Season apples with cinnamon and sugar (or honey) if desired.
  9. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce as desired.

Note: If having a strictly vegetarian dish is not important, you can use bacon or ham instead of tempeh.