Friday, March 18, 2011

Foodie Friday: Quinoa Pilaf

 Photo credit: Michelle Loy. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

If you didn't already know it, I kind of love quinoa.  I love to make up big batches of quinoa in my lovely rice cooker to use in a variety of ways throughout the week.  Quinoa also freezes well, so extra portions can be frozen in small, freezer-safe containers for later use.  It reheats nicely by microwaving, steaming, and stir-frying.  The recipe I'm sharing this week is one that I will be featuring at a health and fitness seminar that I'll be sponsoring this weekend.  What I love about this dish is that it's super simple.  I also love that it's a savory dish with a spike of sweetness from the raisins, and it's full of fabulous textures from the quinoa and walnuts.  Enjoy!

Quinoa Pilaf

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil                                             
2 small shallots, minced                                                 
1 medium clove garlic, minced                                  
1 ½ c uncooked quinoa, rinsed (I enjoy red quinoa as pictured, but you can try pearl or black quinoa, too.)
1/3 c golden raisins                                      
½ Tbsp sea salt        
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper      
 ½ tsp ground cinnamon                                        
3 c vegetable broth, preferably low sodium
1/3 c chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped        

1.  Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is transparent, about 3-4 minutes.
2.   Add quinoa; toast for 1 minute.
3.  Stir in raisins, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
4.  Pour in broth; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until quinoa bursts its  skin, is tender, and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
5.  Set quinoa aside, covered, for about 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff quinoa mixture with a fork. Repeat several times as quinoa becomes lighter as it cools. Sprinkle with walnuts and cilantro just before serving.

Serves: 8
Nutritional Information per ½ cup serving:
Calories:  189   Carbohydrate: 29 g   Fat: 6 g   Monounsaturated fat: 1.6 g   Protein:  6 g   Cholesterol:  0 mg   Fiber:  3.3 g   Sugar: 5 g (all natural)   Sodium:  323 mg
Excellent source of: omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin A and magnesium
Good source of: thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, and zinc


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