Jan 09, 2015

Quinoa Pilaf

Well we’re about one week into the new year and things have finally settled down for most of us… returning to somewhat “normal” at last. What exciting plans do you have for your health, your productivity and your life this year? One thing I am striving for is to eat more WHOLE foods and less fat. Yes, I know, my blog is all about whole food and I use very little or no oil in my recipes. But there are many, many desserts that I love (and a lot of savory dishes, too) that use cashews as a main ingredient. Heavy on nuts = expanding waistline! And I won’t lie, I have added a few pounds over the holidays. It’s hard to stay true to your plans when there is just so much good food floating around, isn’t it? As the year progresses, you will see less recipes that use a lot of nuts and processed flours.

Speaking of recipes, I have a few writing projects that are taking a lot of my time during the early part of this year, so I won’t be posting quite as frequently as I have been. But don’t worry—I won’t forget about you and will still be sharing some yummy dishes that I am excited about when I can and, of course, I will still respond to all of your comments and emails.

As a complement to my healthy diet I have also started a yoga class, so I’m excited about that! And I’ve revised my daily schedule to include walking or hiking and a bit of resistance training as well. Our bodies are designed to MOVE, so get your game on and let’s stay healthy together!

Starting out with this simple pilaf… it’s super easy to make, tastes great and can be eaten warm or cold! It’s great to take along to work or school, is packed with plant-strong protein and stores well refrigerated. Make sure to always rinse your quinoa prior to cooking. This removes something called saponin, which is a protective coating on each seed that is bitter in taste. When you rinse the quinoa you will see that the rinse water becomes foamy. This is because saponins are soap-like substances. Some people are sensitive to this soapy taste as well as its bitterness. It is best to rinse your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (I used a try-color quinoa)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 2 tsp onion flakes
  • 1 TBS Spike salt-free seasoning (or your favorite seasonings)
  • 1½ cups salt-free chick peas (or one can, drained)
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Simmer the quinoa, carrots, onion flakes and spices with the water in a covered pot until the water is absorbed.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine and to warm up the peas and beans. That’s it!
Makes about 4 cups. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

8 responses to “Quinoa Pilaf”

  1. It looks amazing Helyn! Great changes to your daily routine to include more movement. I have thought about learning yoga – might be something to explore this year as well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    and good luck finding that fine mesh strainer … it took me forever to find one large enough to handle a few cups … found it at Bed Bath and Beyond …

  3. Helyn says:

    Thanks, Tami! You should definitely try yoga. I'm new to it and I had no idea what a workout it is! My abs are still sore, days later. It's GOOD!!!

  4. Helyn says:

    True enough! Mine only holds about a cup. I think I saw some bigger ones at World Market. Good to know that BBB has them. Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Helyn!

    I just made this recipe in my Instant Pot and it is great! I did add 2 cups of water and cooked for 9 mins. I have a nice size fine mesh strainer that I bought at Sur la Table to rinse the quinoa. I always enjoy your recipes. Happy New Year's to you!

    Jeanne

  6. Helyn says:

    Awesome, Jeanne! Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  7. devo613 says:

    Thanks for this great recipe, Helen. I made it last week and ate it every day until it was gone! Nice and filling, too. I had some mixed diced frozen veggies, so I defrosted those and put them in. It made the prep even quicker. I love your blog! And I'm planning to buy your new Smoothie book soon,

  8. Helyn says:

    You're so welcome!! Thanks very much for your feedback. It's much appreciated! Hope you enjoy the book. 🙂

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