I first made this pilaf with chef Rebecca Katz , author of the “Cancer Fighting Kitchen”, during a cooking class of hers I attended last February at the Draegers Cooking School. The photo above was taken at that class. The pilaf was served with orange citrus chicken and kale with sweet potato.
I was only recently introduced to quinoa a few years ago, and this is my favorite recipe. Quinoa is a really great source of protein, as that it is a “complete” protein, containing all the essential amino acids we need to get through our diet.
I love Middle Eastern and Northern Africa flavor profiles, and they work especially well with quinoa. This dish would be a great side to my North African Lamb Chops recipe. The cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and turmeric spices take me back to the first time I ever tried Moroccan food when I was young.
I make this all the time, because its fast, easy, and a great snack to make ahead and keep in the fridge. I used carrots, fennel and yellow crook neck squash in this particular preparation, as that those were the veggies I had on hand today, but this recipe tastes especially good with toasted almond slices, onions and raisins. To really brighten up the final product, I squeezed half a lemon on it and sprinkled a little fresh mint. Chef Rebecca was kind enough to give me permission to to reprint this recipe in full. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Thanks Rebecca!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots finely diced
- 1 medium size fennel bulb
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced small
- 1 cup dry organic quinoa
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 3/4 cups of filtered water or vegetable stock
- sea salt to taste
- Optional: 1 yellow crook neck squash
- Optional: 1/4 cup of fresh chopped mint or parsley
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and then add the shallot, fennel, carrot, and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring occasionally with a spoon for about 3 minutes until the vegetables start to sweat.
- Stir in the quinoa, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and cardamom, then stir in vegetable stock or filtered water, a pinch of salt and bring to a boil
- Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
- If you decided on using the crook neck squash: saute the squash in olive oil over medium heat for about 4 to 5 minutes until tender. Set aside until quinoa is done cooking
- Remove quinoa from heat and fluff with a fork, then add the optional squash and parsley or mint
- Do a quick taste and if you want, add a quick squeeze of lemon juice to add some acid or “amp” up the flavor
- Serve and enjoy!
- Will stay fresh stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days
- Nutrition Per Serving: Calories: 270; Fat: 10 grams; Carbohydrates: 39 grams, Protein: 8 grams