Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Protein Pilaf

If you read this blog, you'll know I've become a HUGE fan of quinoa in the last couple months! It's the whole package - natural, nutrient-dense, tasty! :)
Quinoa is an amazing source of protein so I've bee
n using it more and more in place of rice or couscous. Here is a great recipe for a quinoa pilaf - I served this last night for dinner along with some roasted veggies (Mixed Vegetables al Forno). I should add that I updated the mixed veggie dish a bit by using 1 whole portobello cap in place of the button mushrooms. I also added in a little fennel (1/2 tsp. dried) and 1 tbsp. fresh basil (at the last minute).
It was a yummy combination!

Quinoa Pine Nut Pilaf

Serves 2

1/2 large onion, chopped (superfood!)
2 garlic cloves, minced (superfood!)
1/2 tbsp. olive oil (superfood!)
1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 cup quinoa (superfood!)
5/6 cup of water (or 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. toasted pine nuts (to toast - spread in a single layer on an un-oiled baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes at 350 degrees).

1. In a heavy saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the bell peppers, cumin, and coriander and continue to saute for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. While the veggies cook, rinse the quinoa under cold water for a couple minutes. Add the rinsed quinoa and water to the saucepan, cover tightly, and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Stir in the basil and corn and cook 5-10 minutes longer or until the quinoa is tender.

3. Stir the pilaf to fluff it, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts.

From the Moosewood Collective's Low-Fat Favourites Cookbook.

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