Friday, July 27, 2012

Great pseudo-grains: curried quinoa pilaf

Great pseudo-grains: curried quinoa pilaf

Have you tried quinoa yet? It is an excellent nutritious food that is rapidly gaining popularity. It goes well in both savory dishes, such at the pilaf below, and sweet. Quinoa is a good alternative to oatmeal in the morning; try it warmed up with fruit and milk.

The funny thing? It isn't technically a grain. According to the whole grain council, it is a "psudo-cereal" (isn't that a great term?).
"Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa, or goosefoot) is in fact not technically a cereal grain at all, but is instead what we call a "pseudo-cereal" – our name for foods that are cooked and eaten like grains and have a similar nutrient profile. Botanically, quinoa is related to beets, chard and spinach, and in fact the leaves can be eaten as well as the grains. It's a testimonial to how far quinoa has come in the last five years, that most people now know it's pronounced KEEN-wah, not kwin-OH-a." -
Whatever you call it, quinoa is a nutrtion powerhouse. Loaded with protein, it will keep your tummy full for a long time. Try the recipe below as a take-along to your next picnic or BBQ and I doubt you'll be bringing home leftovers. If so, warm some up for breakfast and put an over easy egg on top. Breakfast of champions!
Curried Quinoa Pilaf

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock (a one quart box)
  • 2 cups of quinoa
  • 1 cup onion, diced, (about 1 medium onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups carrot, diced
  • 1.5 Tbsp. coriander
  • 2 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1.5 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (to taste)
  • 2/3 cup dried fruit (cranberries or raisins)
  • 2/3 cup chopped toasted nuts (pecans or pistachios)
  1. In stock pot, bring quinoa, stock, garlic and spices to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender and has sprouted "tails" about 15 minutes (....if you haven't cooked quinoa before, you'll see what I mean when you're done cooking!). 
  2. Stir in fruit and nuts and dig in! This recipe is good both hot and cold.  
Gather your ingredients
Don't those veggies look heroic?

Simmer quinoa, broth, veggies and spices until quinoa is tender
Stir in dried fruits and nuts

Kitchen tip: when using turmeric, choose your cooking utensils carefully as this brilliant yellow spice will stain wooden and (some) plastic spoons. If you don't like the "well loved" look for your kitchen utensils, choose metal.
Turmeric: top right

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  1. This is delicious!! I took it to work for lunch for several days. :) Yum!

    1. Kelly thank you very much for trying the recipe and I'm so glad you liked it! Have a healthy day!

  2. Holly,
    Are you supposed to drain the stock after the quinoi is finished cooking or is it cooked more like rice? I look forward to trying this recipe soon!

  3. Great question Kristen- it is cooked like rice; the stock should be absorbed at the end of cooking. Enjoy and thank you for visiting my blog!


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