Quinoa is something I’ve eaten only a couple times before, and something that I have never cooked myself, until this week. Quinoa (which is commonly referred to as a whole grain but is actually a seed!) - seems to be one of the “in” foods of the moment and for good reason. It is basically ridiculously nutritious – packed full of fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, and a plethora of other vitamins and minerals.
I found organic heirloom Inca Red quinoa at my grocery store, next to the rice. Quinoa is typically supposed to be rinsed prior to cooking, but the brand I purchased was pre-washed. (If only I’d noticed that before I rinsed it! Doh.)
I came across in intriguing recipe on the Cooking Light website featuring quinoa, along with two other pantry items for which I have been seeking uses – pistachios (I keep these in my freezer to prolong their life!) and dried cherries; both were tasty gifts from my Aunt Anne, from Hadley’s. In addition to the quinoa, chopped pistachios, and chopped dried Bing cherries, this recipe also used fresh mint and fresh parsley, shallots (I substituted minced red onion), lemon juice, and a dry white wine.
Cutie little quinoa seeds!:
After sautéing the shallots, I added a few splashes of wine, water, and salt. Next the quinoa was added, and allowed to simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. I love a quick-cooking starch! Brown rice takes 40-50 minutes to cook on the stove top, so 15 minutes seemed lightening fast.
While the quinoa simmered, the chef enjoyed a few sips of her Sauvignon Blanc, whilst chopping her fresh herbs. Quality control, kids. (Actually my wine glasses were a wedding gift from my aunt as well! Aren’t they pretty?).
Once the quinoa was cooked, it was mixed with olive oil, pepper, and lemon juice, the dried cherries and pistachios, and fresh herbs.
Pretty pretty! Colors and textures.
Aaaand the verdict?! I loved this quinoa dish! I’m a rice lover, and I would venture to say that quinoa is somewhat similar to rice – except that is it more of a nutritional powerhouse. I loved the chewy, nutty texture of the quinoa, and the crunchy, salty pistachios and chewy, sweet bursts of dried cherries made this dish a delight to eat! The fresh lemon juice, mint, and parsley also added a bright, herby layer to the dish.
On the side I prepared some very early-spring asparagus that I have been stocking up on because it is both delicious and inexpensive right now, as well as a turkey kielbasa.
Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios
Currently listening to: Cracks (Ft. Belle Humble) (Flux Pavilion Remix)
With the exception of the huz’s birthday night, this week has been pretty craptastic. I’ll be glad when it’s over, even though I hate wishing away days. I TRY to do this:
Gee, thanks Pinterest.