Thursday, November 1, 2012

Quinoa Pilaf

Becca here with a great healthy side dish!  You've heard me talk about how much my family loves quinoa several times before.  In fact, on the right sidebar we have an entire section of recipes devoted to quinoa that you can access by clicking on "Quinoa."  When a friend posted on facebook that they had made this dish for dinner, I knew it was one we had to try, with a few modifications of course!  If you haven't bought pine nuts before, let me prepare you for the sticker shock of getting to the grocery store - the least expensive I've seen them is about $1 an ounce, but they really do make this dish.  You could substitute another nut such as slivered almonds, pecans, or walnuts, although I do highly recommend trying the pine nuts, it's worth it I'm sure!  This is a versatile side dish that could go with a lot of different foods, and also freezes and reheats well, so I recommend making the full (large) batch.

2 cups quinoa, rinsed well
4 cups chicken broth (I use homemade in the slow cooker usually, or organic/msg free, etc. from the store)
1/4 cup dehydrated onion (or 1 large onion, chopped, browned in a skillet)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh parsley (see note below)
salt & pepper to taste (this will largely depend on what kind and how seasoned your chicken broth is, store bought or homemade)

In a large saucepan, heat pine nuts over medium-high heat until golden brown, 2-3 minutes.  Remove them from the pan and set aside.

In the same large saucepan, combine rinsed quinoa, chicken broth, and onions.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until liquid is all absorbed. 

Using a fork to fluff the quinoa, stir in roasted pine nuts and fresh parsley.  Season with salt and pepper as needed, and serve.  Enjoy!

*A note on fresh parsley - if you end up with extra fresh parsley, don't let it go to waste!  I go ahead and chop up the whole bunch after it's washed, and lay the extra out on clean dishtowels or paper towels to dry, and then freeze it until I need parsley in a recipe.  I wouldn't recommend this for a dish where the parsley is going to remain uncooked, but for dishes like this where the heat is going to 'wilt' the parsley anyway, or if you're going to be cooking with it, it works just as well as fresh.

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