Quinoa is commonly considered a grain, while in actuality it is the seed of a plant that is related to beets, chard and spinach. It is high in protein, but the cool thing is that the protein that it supplies is complete protein; it includes all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is especially rich with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. It is not only nutritious, but also delicious. The seeds have a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. The most popular type of quinoa is a transparent yellow color, but other varieties feature colors such as orange, pink, red, purple and black.
With its light and nutty flavor (the pine nuts enhance the natural nutty flavor of the quinoa), this Quinoa Pilaf is a great side dish to go with a summer dinner.
Quinoa Pilaf with Pine Nuts
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- salt & pepper
- Put the broth and quinoa in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and grain is tender.
- Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a large dry skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove nuts from pan and set aside.
- Heat the oil in the same skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and begin to brown, about 6 minutes.
- When the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Stir in the pine nuts, onions, and parsley.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
(Recipe by: Ellie Krieger)