Monday, November 12, 2012

Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa...what on earth is that?  I had no idea.  My coach would post recipes with this ingredient and I had no idea what she was talking about.  So I looked around my local grocery store and found it! Next I found some recipes with this Quinoa in it.  I should have just looked on the bag it came in...I found my new favorite side dish - Quinoa Pilaf.



For those that were like me and had no clue what this Quinoa is, here is a brief overview:

First of all it is pronounced: KEEN-wah...I definitely was NOT pronouncing it this way.  I guess that is why the person at the grocery store looked at me like I had three heads!! So this grain is often compared to couscous or rice.  Quinoa is lighter, but can be used just like rice.  Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain, and is higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains.  It is a very good source of calcium, iron, phosphorous, B vitamins, and vitamin E. Quinoa slowly releases carbohydrates therefore it helps maintain blood sugar levels as well.  

I will be honest, my kids were not so sure of this side dish.  My husband and I loved it!  It was light, yet filling.  This particular night when I made it, we were suppose to have brown rice with dinner (according to my meal plan I had made for the week).  Unfortunately I must have not looked properly in our cabinets because we were out of brown rice.  Luckily, I still had the Quinoa from a previous recipe I tried and saw this recipe for Quinoa Pilaf on the side of the bag.  Not only did it save my dinner but it will also save my waistline!



Quinoa Pilaf
















Ingredients...

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (I left this out)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions...

  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion in oil for 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  2. Add carrot and cook for 3 minutes more.
  3. Stir in quinoa and vegetable broth, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and fluffy.
  4. In a bowl toss quinoa together with walnuts and parsley.
  5. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Perfect side dish for any meal.  We had it with roasted turkey breast and green beans. 

This is a healthy alternative to the traditional side dishes such as mashed potatoes, white rice, etc.  I am still learning how to eat healthier everyday.  I LOVE this new lifestyle. Do you want to learn how to eat healthier too? Message me and we can chat about ways to start incorporating eating clean into your everyday life!  

~Alyson