Finally, a fabulicious alternative to potatoes and rice! Quinoa (KEE-no-ah) is an ancient Incan superfood, 100% gluten-free, loaded with iron and B-vitamins. Even better, it’s a complete protein, a rare bonus in plants! High flavor, low-carb quinoa is healthier than traditional side dishes. Eating carbs in the evening tends to accumulate added pounds during the night. So I find it best to either skip carbs at supper, or eat this delicious quinoa melange. Inspired by Greek pilaf, it is loaded with tasty mushrooms, veggies, with high-anti-oxidant turmeric for a subtle hint of Middle Eastern flavor.
Quinoa is actually not a grain, but rather a seed related to beets and spinach. Some Paleo enthusiasts consider it too similar to a grain, so you can decide for yourself. My rule of thumb is to soak and sprout my seeds, so they cook quicker and are easier to digest. To sprout, soak dry quinoa 8 hours or overnight in water with a few drops of lemon or vinegar. Rinse and drain well. You can also buy pre-sprouted quinoa by TruRoots in any healthy grocery. Garnish with parsley or cilantro and a bit of lemon. Serves 4.
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 3/4 cup sprouted quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups broth or filtered water
- About 1/4 teaspoon unprocessed salt, or more to taste
- Some black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- handful fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions or peas
- A slice of lemon to garnish, if desired
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts and/or almonds (optional)
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the oil. Sauté the onion and garlic till they begin to soften. Add mushrooms and sauté 3-4 minutes. Stir in the quinoa, water, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, and turn down the heat to barely simmer for 25 minutes. Keep and eye on it, and if it gets dry, add more water so it doesn't stick to the pan.
- When the quinoa is almost completely soften, stir in chopped parsley or cilantro, green onions or peas. Garnish with optional pine nuts or almonds. Serve with lemon slices, if you wish.