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Joe Vandal’s Pumpkin Quinoa

By Jeannie Castell and Cassandra Partridge

We’re taking back our good name! There is certainly nothing unexpected about waking up with the passing of Halloween to your intimately carved pumpkin exploded on the cold concrete. It happens each and every year during the changing season, and never ceases to devastate us. We, the Vandals, have concluded on a more pleasurable pumpkin-vandalizing experience. We tend to these injured pumpkins in a smooth puree while adding warming spices such as ginger and nutmeg to sooth them. The pumpkin is then infused in the golden grain quinoa speckled with black forbidden rice. To complete the care of these innocent seasonal creatures, we do not think twice but to top them off with caramelized pecans. In this season of thanks, we must show these pumpkins our appreciation and remorse. Please, vandalize the Vandal way.

  • Yield: 8
  • Portion 1/2 cup 
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes


  • 2-3 cups of low sodium vegetable broth (16-24 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup forbidden rice, dry
  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh ginger, grated
  • Nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


  1. Cook the forbidden rice in rice cooker with one part rice to two parts water; keep warm. Or, cook rice according to package instructions.
  2. Prepare caramelized pecans. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat. Coat whole pecans in butter until evenly coated. Flip and stir occasionally until brown in color. Add brown sugar and stir until sugar is incorporated into butter and is smooth in texture.
  3. Boil chicken broth in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to low; keep warm.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add quinoa; cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes. Stir in pumpkin.
  5. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to quinoa. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more broth. Quinoa should be slightly tender but still firm and somewhat crunchy when bitten. This should take about 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. When quinoa is ready, take off of heat and stir in black rice to the quinoa mixture. Do not stir too much or the rice may become mushy in texture. Add fresh ginger, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

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