Saturday, March 6, 2010

Quinoa Pilaf

It's ironic that quinoa, the new uber hot gluten free grain, is actually an ancient grain that the Peruvians have been noshing on for over 6,000 years. Its chock full of nutritional goodness - its protein content is very high (12%–18%), contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.

No wonder its gaining in popularity! Quinoa makes a great subsititue for rice or potatoes and it cooks in 15 minutes - perfect for today's busy lifestyles!

This was my first foray into the new and wonderful world of quinoa. I decided to make a quinoa pilaf, figuring that adding veggies wasn't a bad thing. Turns out adding the veggies was right on, it was delicious! What a simple way to get extra veggies into your family.

The grains are very small, my husband thought it was couscous at first, that's how small they are. The taste is similar to brown rice, slightly nutty, and very good. The little Witch saw the serving bowl on the table, she asked what it was. I told her it was bird seed and she gobbled it down. She even served herself seconds!!! Quinoa is definitely going to become a side dish staple around here.

Oh and one more thing, the 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water makes a TON!!! For my family of 3 I'd cut it in half at least because we have a LOT left over.

Quinoa Pilaf
makes about 8 1/2 cup servings
1 cup quinoa (prewashed, most boxed quinoa are prewashed)
2 cups water
1 carrot, finely minced
2 green onions, sliced into very thin rounds
1/2 red bell pepper, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
about 1 t kosher salt, pepper
1 t evoo

Heat a sauce pan over medium high heat, add EVOO. Once its nice & hot add the veggies, sautee about 3 minutes, or until the veg just starts to soften and release some liquids.

Add the water and quinoa, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook 15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork. If there's a lot of liquid left raise heat to medium high and allow it to cook out.

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople Recipe Calculator
Amount Per Serving
Calories 97.8
Total Fat 2.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 151.9 mg
Potassium 49.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Sugars 1.9 g
Protein 3.2 g


Anusce@Ciao-Chow said...

Looks good!! Don't you love Quinoa!! I am in love with it! It is such a great substitute to rice!

Tonya said...

We recently discovered quinoa too. This recipe looks great and I will definitely give it a try. We have a recipe to make it with sun dried tomatoes and feta to serve as a cold salad, great for potlucks and summer BBQs!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this!! I was looking through some health recipes and kept seeing quinoa mentioned and had NO idea what it was.

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