Monday, May 14, 2012

Quinoa Pilaf

I've made quinoa a couple times in the past and was never really crazy about it, but I wanted to give it another shot since it gets so much attention for its health benefits. Quinoa is a gluten free grain (technically a seed but we cook it and eat it as we would a grain) and it is a complete protein. It doesn't have much flavor so it can be easily sweetened up for breakfast porridges or desserts, or turned into a savory side dish or salad. I decided to make a batch by cooking the quinoa in a can of vegetable soup instead of water. Instant pilaf and awesome flavor! Naturally I added a ton of spinach, English peas (since they are in season and so tasty right now), chopped green onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper. I had it first for breakfast with a fried egg on top, and later as a side dish with some crumbled feta and ground turkey. I'm officially converted and I plan to keep this healthy alternative to rice in my pantry moving forward. (Thinking I'll probably give this variation a go next week) See below for my recipe, but don't be afraid to experiment and have fun with veggies and herbs that you like!

Quinoa Pilaf
  • 1 14.5 oz can of vegetable soup
  • A little less than 1 cup of dry, rinsed quinoa
    • (the ratio to cook should be 2 parts liquid/1 part grain)
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 3 handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper or any other herbs you like to taste

Bring soup and quinoa to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes covered. Add in peas, spinach, and green onion or any other veggies you want in the last 3-5 minutes to steam and add flavor. Enjoy!

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