Quinoa Pilaf

A few years ago, when we realized we could use quinoa for Passover (quinoa was NOT something my grandmothers made), this was one of the first dishes I made — and my family liked it so much I now make a batch at least once every Passover.

If you use vegetable stock, this is vegan and because it’s packed with protein and fiber, it’s a GREAT vegan dish. The added almonds make it even more protein-rich and add a fabulous crunch. I usually serve this as a side dish, but I also enjoy it cold as a light lunch.

Ingredients

  • 90 grams / 3 oz slivered almonds, divided (3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (280 grams / 10 oz)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced small (84 grams / 3 oz)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced small (280 grams / 10 oz)
  • 4 ribs celery, diced small (200 grams / 7 oz)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced small (227 grams / 8 oz)
  • 227 grams / 8 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Preheat the over to 400°F /205°C. Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet and toast for 10-13 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Using a mesh strainer, thoroughly rinse the quinoa, then place in a pot and add the chicken/vegetable stock. Bring the stock to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer 10-15 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, loosely cover, and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the quinoa.

While the quinoa is cooking/resting, cook the vegetables. Over medium, heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the carrots, salt and pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion and celery and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook another 3-4 minutes. Add the red pepper and garlic and cook another 3-4 minutes or until all of the vegetables are tender.

Add the quinoa to the vegetables and mix through. If your pan isn’t large enough, you can transfer everything to a large bowl and mix together. Add 1/2 cup of the toasted almonds and stir through. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of almonds on top.

If you’d like to make this ahead. Once you’ve mixed everything together, refrigerate until you’re ready for it. You can reheat in the microwave, or transfer to a casserole, cover and heat gently until warmed through.

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