Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf
I don't know about you, but I had a very indulgent Easter weekend. It started on Friday night and involved lots of yumminess, including wine, cheese, ham, prime rib, risotto, peeps, strawberries and a ton of bread. Needless to say I am in serious need of some nutritious detox.
So with that in mind I set out to create the healthiest dish I could think of. What resulted is a delicious and filling side dish or main course that will blow you away. I packed in a ton of veggies by shredding them up and adding them to a big pot of quinoa.
Have you boarded the quinoa train yet? If not I suggest you do so immediately. I could go on for hours, but quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a seed, not a grain that is related to the spinach family. It cooks and tastes like grain and is easily digested and gluten-free. Best of all, it contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. It is also full of magnesium, copper, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. I like it because it is extremely filling and will cook in only 10 minutes. We eat a lot of it in our house because it will pretty much pair with anything. Sometimes I just eat it plain sprinkled with some hot sauce.
Ok, back to the recipe. I used broccoli, kale and carrots because that's what I had on hand, but I am envisioning some variations of this with maybe peppers, zucchini, spinach or chard. A bit of spice, some veggie broth and an onion are all you need to give it a rich flavor. I served this with chicken, but it can also be a great main dish. Quinoa comes in three colors, red, white and black. White is the easiest to find, but red and black have more fiber and minerals. Use whatever you can find.
Read more for the full recipe!
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 large head of broccoli, trimmed, washed and shredded
2 cups of green kale, ribs removed, washed and shredded
1 cup of quinoa
3 cups low sodium veggie broth
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
optional: 1 tsp red pepper flakes
Step by Step Instructions:
1. Using a food processor, shred onion, carrots, broccoli and kale
2. In a medium saucepan, saute shredded veggies in olive oil 2-3 minutes
3. Add quinoa, broth and spices
4. Cover and bring to a boil
5. Reduce heat to med-low, and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed
6. Serve warm or cold