Quinoa Pilaf

Lately, we keep hearing so much about low carb, no carb, carbs are bad and so on.  All carbs are not created equal and the important thing is to fill your diet with the good carbs.  Whole grain carbs are the way to go!  Quinoa is one of those foods that’s fun to say, but just as fun to eat!  You can do so much with it, as it can be used in sweet dessert style dishes as well as savory side dishes!

One key thing to remember with quinoa is that you do need to rinse it before using. Rinsing removes quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. Although boxed quinoa is often pre-rinsed, it doesn’t hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse before using.

This week, I tried out this one, with a few modifications to fit my dietary restrictions and it was a home run!  I paired it with the Barbecue Style Portabello Mushrooms and I will definitely be making it again!

Feel free to play with your favorite spices in this one to make it your own!20161104_082223

Quinoa Pilaf 
Makes 8 servings
Quinoa can add variety to your diet and contains more protein than other grains.
1 yellow or red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups quinoa, washed and dried
3 cups boiling water or vegetable broth (add 1 teaspoon salt if using water or unsalted broth)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)
Sauté onion, celery, carrot, and garlic until they start to caramelize or turn brown.
Add cumin, oregano, and quinoa.
Stir constantly and cook for about 3 more minutes to allow spices and quinoa to toast. Add boiling salted water or vegetable broth. Cover and cook about 20 minutes or until all the liquid has completely absorbed and the quinoa has “bloomed.” Do not stir during cooking and make sure the lid is tight to prevent moisture from escaping. Remove from heat and allow quinoa to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Add cilantro or parsley, if using. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Allow leftovers to cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Tip: For a variation, omit cumin and oregano and add 1 teaspoon dried thyme, rosemary, and/or sage.

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