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Herbed Quinoa Pilaf

Herbed Quinoa Pilaf

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  • 4 cups quinoa (about 18 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil

Recipe Preparation

  • Place quinoa in large strainer. Rinse under cold running water until water is clear. Transfer quinoa to large saucepan; add 4 1/2 cups water and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer quinoa to large bowl; fluff with fork. Stir in oil and lemon juice. Cool to room temperature. Mix in pine nuts and red onion. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Mix in basil.

Reviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley, (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 bunch chives, (about 1/4 ounce), snipped into 1/4-inch lengths
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and stock bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed and the grains are translucent, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, pick 1/2 cup parsley leaves from stems, chop leaves coarsely, and set aside. Place remaining parsley leaves, parsley stems, and 1/4 cup water in a food processor process until pureed. Transfer puree to a double layer of cheesecloth laid over a small bowl. Squeeze all liquid from the puree, discard solids, and set parsley juice aside.

Add snipped chives, butter, and reserved parsley juice and chopped parsley into cooked quinoa, and mix until combined. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, and serve.

Herbed Quinoa & Chickpea Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Last Thursday turned into a fiasco. I woke up and started powering through my to-do list, for once. Emails? Check. Laundry? Check. Groceries? Check. High five, self!

Then my landlord came over to work on some things. As I was talking to him and trying to clean off the counters, Cookie leapt up in a truly impressive feat and swiped a hunk of dark chocolate cake off the counter. She gobbled it down before I could stop her. I tried the hydrogen peroxide thing, but it wasn’t enough, so we zoomed over to the vet.

My Cookie girl spent the afternoon behind closed doors, and we went back the next afternoon, too. We’ve both been moving a little slow since then. She’s generally such an exuberant force, and she’s recovered about ninety percent now. It’s cute when she grabs cabbage from the counter, but chocolate, not so much (I’m careful, too).

I finalized these salad details while she was away, and it was a relief to come home to a healthy dinner after a stressful day. Quinoa salads can be both super nutritious and delicious, and this one is definitely both.

In addition to quinoa (which is cooked to fluffy perfection using my preferred method), I added chickpeas, which are rich in fiber, protein and nutrients like manganeses and folate (source). I added loads of fresh flavor to the quinoa-chickpea base with spinach, parsley, cilantro and green onion.

The salad wasn’t quite awesome enough until I added freshly toasted pepitas and some creamy, crumbled feta cheese (which could be replaced by sliced Kalamata olives, if you’d rather). Then I poured in a zippy, garlicky, lemony dressing made lightly creamy with some tahini. This salad would be a great packed lunch, and it would also be a lovely vegetarian (easily vegan) addition to your holiday table.

Roasted Mushrooms with Herbed Quinoa

Have you ever tried roasting your mushrooms? I discovered during the making of my cookbook that roasting not-so-fancy mushrooms condenses their flavors into gourmet territory. They transform from spongy raw fungi into tender, richly flavored umami bombs along the way.

I understand that mushrooms aren’t for everyone (sometimes, they’re not even for me), but I’m into these roasted mushrooms. For those of you who are on the fence when it comes to mushrooms, I hope this recipe brings you over to my side.

This recipe is a great side dish or light meal. First, I roasted up some cremini mushrooms, also known as baby bella mushrooms (they’re young portobellos—get it?). Then I served the roasted mushrooms, with all of their delicious mushroom juices, on a bed of herbed quinoa. A squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle of pepitas rounds out the flavors and textures.

For a more complete meal, I think you could stir some chickpeas or white beans into the quinoa. You can also change it up by roasting the mushrooms with a splash of balsamic vinegar (so good).

Once again, I bought all of my ingredients at ALDI. They have organic quinoa and olive oil, plus a wide variety of fresh produce and rBST-free cheeses, all at impressively low prices. Their new blog called Hello, Healthy, offers recipes, cooking videos and resources on how to live a healthy life. You can check out my recipe on their blog here. Have you been to an ALDI yet?!

Quinoa pilaf with almonds

This quinoa mushroom pilaf is a simple one pot dish. Start by sauteeing mushrooms in vegetable broth. If you’re like me, having this broth on hand is a must.

You can always purchase store-bought, but you’ll notice on a plant-based diet it’s likely you have vegetable scraps all the time!

Best method is to toss them in the freezer and when you accumulate a nice variety and quantity, make yourself a batch of vegetable broth! Check out my recipe on How to Make Homemade Vegetable Broth (Instant Pot & Stove-Top).

Check out these other versatile plant-based recipes:

Once the mushrooms have softened, add quinoa and broth, bringing to a boil. Turn down to simmer until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid. Add peas during the last few minutes of cooking with the sun-dried tomatoes and almonds.

The mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes give it a hearty flavor. Feel free to try different mushrooms and see which you like best.

The dressing in this vegan quinoa pilaf is a delightful way to add a little pzazz to the traditional version. It consist of your vinegar of choice, I prefer champagne or apple cider. A little dijon mustard, maple or date syrup, and a squeeze of lemon. It’s refreshing with a little tang.

Serve this vegan recipe for quinoa pilaf alongside a large salad and you won’t even miss the meat.

I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Mushroom Quinoa Pilaf recipe! If you have a photo, post it on my Facebook page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Herbs from the Hills of Provence
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ cups quinoa
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 ¼ cups fond, or liquid from cooked mushrooms

In a heated pan, combine butter and onions. Cook 2 minutes.

Add mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf, and cook 2 or 3 minutes until mushrooms soften.

Add quinoa, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

Add liquid and bring to the boil.

Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes, allowing all the liquid to be absorbed.

Hearty Winter Veggie Pilaf

In a fine-mesh sieve, rinse the quinoa. Transfer to a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook until almost tender, about 12 minutes drain in the sieve. In the same pot, bring enough water to reach a depth of 1 inch to a simmer over medium heat. Set the sieve with quinoa in the pot. Cover with a kitchen towel, then the lid, and steam until tender, about 10 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the scallion whites, pine nuts and dried currants season with salt and pepper. Cook until the nuts are light golden, about 2 minutes transfer to a bowl. In the same skillet, heat another 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the brussels sprouts and 1/8 cup water season with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Toss with the mushroom mixture, quinoa, scallion greens, parsley and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Herbed Couscous Pilaf

I adapted this recipe I found in the October 2010 issue of Cooking Light that was healthy, flavorful, and delicious. This recipe is extremely quick and simple to make – which is perfect for a busy week night. I served this couscous with chicken and roasted veggies for a delicious and healthy meal. We all, kids included, loved this couscous pilaf.

Heat the garlic olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the minced shallot and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Add the couscous and cook stirring often for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the fresh parsley and chives then fluff with a fork. Taste and add more seasonings if needed. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

Herbed Quinoa Pilaf - Recipes

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
2 cardamom pods
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup quinoa, raw
3 cups water

1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts

1 cup green beans, trimmed and chopped to 1-inch pieces
1 cup broccoli florets

Serves 4-6
In a skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, ginger, garlic and turmeric and fry until fragrant.

Stir in raw quinoa, cauliflower florets, chopped carrots and cashew nuts. Add water, bring to a boil, season with salt, cover skillet and cook for 10 minutes over medium low heat. After 10 minutes, add green beans and broccoli and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Stir in green peas and let stand for another 2-3 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and cloves. Transfer pilaf to serving bowl, Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

Crazy for Quinoa: 35 Recipes for the Healthy Whole Grain

This gorgeous salad is super healthy and sure to keep you feeling great.

Protein-packed quinoa is a great pick for the starring grain in this vegetarian dish.

These vegetarian cakes can make a great appetizer or side, or even a main dish, thanks to its main ingredient: protein-packed quinoa.

To get fluffy, tasty quinoa, Aida Mollenkamp stirs the nutritious grain with softened leeks, then simmers it in a light vegetable broth.

This delicious, super-healthy salad is a great meal-in-one.

Pear and butternut squash add a sweet depth to the flavor of hearty pork in this heart-healthy dish.

To pump up the smoky flavors in this dish, Alyssa Gorelick grills both the stuffed poblanos and the vegetables for the romesco sauce. Any extra sauce is terrific with roasted or grilled potatoes or on a veggie burger.

This whole-grain wild rice and quinoa salad recipe is perfect for toting to summer potlucks. It features sweet cherries, crunchy celery, nutty aged goat cheese, and toasted pecans. If you can find red quinoa, it's particularly pretty.

Akasha Richmond's cauliflower-flecked pilaf is a fantastic, healthy meal in one dish. Chopped Marcona almonds add a super crunch coconut oil, an unexpected tropical flavor.

"While in Los Angeles filming the second season of Top Chef Just Desserts. I discovered Café Gratitude, a vegan café with a cult following," Gail Simmons says. "For me, it's fresh, simple food was the perfect antidote to all that sugar. I became addicted to aptly named dishes like I Am Fortified &mdash a bowl of whole grains with lots of cooked vegetables. When I got back to New York, I developed my own version."

Cat Cora's nutritious quinoa is quick to make. Adding chicken makes it a great meal-in-one.

Quinoa is a quick-cooking whole grain with a slightly nutty flavor &mdash a perfect partner for pears and walnuts in this fresh-tasting salad recipe. The flavor is best when the salad is at room temperature or cold. Refrigerate the salad for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Swap rice for healthy, nutty quinoa in this classic dish.

"I love how out of control the vegetarian culture is in this city," says chef Kevin Kathman of Minneapolis's Barbette. To satisfy those diners, he stuffs maple-glazed roasted squash with quinoa and sautéed wild mushrooms. For a more substantial dish, serve it with roasted root vegetables brushed with the same glaze.

Anything but traditional, these grape leaves are stuffed with ground turkey and quinoa flavored with bits of sun-dried tomatoes, olives, lemon zest, and plenty of herbs.

A blend of green herbs and refreshing citrus makes this quinoa salad an ideal summer dish.

Serve this on its own for a light lunch.

This salad of grilled spring vegetables feels just filling enough, thanks to the protein-rich quinoa and a puree of dates that are grilled first to soften them and intensify their natural sweetness.

In this fluffy salad, Yotam Ottolenghi blends South American quinoa with nutty Camargue red rice from southern France. The salad gets a fruity sweetness from orange juice and zest and is delicious alongside roast chicken.

Quinoa, a grain both high in protein and fiber, is a healthy substitute for white rice in salads, soups, and stir-fries.

Quinoa is naturally loaded with protein and fiber. This filling, nutrient-packed grain is most often used for savory dishes, but it can also be turned into a healthy and unexpected breakfast.

Here the the shrimp is coated with a potent mix of fennel seeds, dried oregano, and garlic and onion powders. The quinoa is flavored with a vibrant, pesto-like pistou, made with a judicious amount of oil.

The quinoa adds protein as well as a chewy texture to this meatless main dish. The dressing and feta pulls this warm salad together.

At L.A. Bento in Los Angeles, chef Chad Aaland makes quinoa salad with three types of beans and house-pickled onions. This streamlined version with black beans and jarred cocktail onions is just as tasty.

Quinoa is definitely a superfood: A grainlike seed, it's a "complete" protein containing all eight essential amino acids (another plus: it cooks much more quickly than most grains). To create a terrific vegetarian main course, Michael Symon of Cleveland's Lola tosses quinoa with arugula, apple, raisins, and fresh herbs, then spoons the salad into a halved baked squash (a great source of iron and vitamins A and C).

"Quinoa is a miracle food," says Bruce Sherman. Native to the Andes Mountains, the nutty, protein-rich grain is now also grown in the U.S. Sherman tosses it with smoky bacon and toasted almonds to make a substantial side dish that's delicious with poached eggs or roasted chicken.

Try a new flavor on your salmon. Top the fish with a hoisin and Chinese five-spice mixture before baking. Serve with quinoa.

We took the tangy fresh flavors of tabbouleh and paired them with smoky tofu and quinoa to create a main-dish salad that's perfect served on a bed of greens. This salad is jam-packed with heart-healthy ingredients &mdash whole grains (quinoa), legumes (soy-based tofu), and plenty of vegetables.

Free-Form Herbed Pea and Quinoa Pilaf

If you’ve ever had a taste of fresh peas, you know they’re well-worth all the monotonous shelling effort they require. I’ve done hours of this kind of pea drudgery for my parents, yet I still look forward to when they come in season every year. The little balls are bursting with a super sweetness that can’t be matched, needing just a little butter/olive oil and S&P to create a satisfying snack.

At the last farmer’s market I helped work, I noticed many of the customers passing over the regular peas for snow peas. Often, they’d tell me, I want the ones that don’t require any of that prep. I would’ve convinced them otherwise, but that meant more for me, so I passed on the pea persuasion.

Really, if you sit down and watch a little TV before dinner, and shell some peas while you’re at it, the whole pea prep. isn’t that bad. I ended up taking advantage of some slow time I had at the farmer’s markets to start freeing a few peas from their pod for myself. By the end of the day, I had a whole bag at my disposal.

I added them to this free-formed quinoa salad, along with some fresh herbs from the garden. I love light, summery salads like these, especially when creamy avocado is thrown in the mix too. And as light as this salad is, it’s packed with protein. Peas have 5 grams per cup, and quinoa has 8 grams per cup, making this a great meat-free, protein-filled dish. Use whatever amount of each ingredient you desire. You really can’t go wrong when you are utilizing fresh ingredients.


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