Friday, May 31, 2013

Quinoa Pilaf

While I was waiting for my Physique class to start, I was flipping through the Physique 57 Solution book. I saw some inspirational recipes - including one similar to the recipe below for quinoa pilaf. 

When I got home, I searched for some recipes for quinoa pilaf and came up with a hodge podge of results. I mixed and matched ingredients that I already had at home. Super easy!

During the week, I don't really go for "splurge" meals when I am eating by myself. I save those for fun occasions (bachelorette dinners at Pearl & Ash! Burgers at Minetta!), but it is really easy to get bored with the same old boxed salads. I've been *trying* to incorporate at least three different types of greens into my diet every day, so that has been a mix of kale at breakfast (smoothie), arugula at lunch (salad), spinach at dinner (egg white omelette). This recipe was an opportunity to try arugula in a new format. 

I think I like the flavor and texture of red quinoa the most out of all the types of quinoas I've tried.

Quinoa Pilaf, recipe adapted from various sources

Serves 3

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked
  • 2 handfuls of shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 cup of diced bell peppers (any color - I mixed red & yellow) 
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 4 cups arugula 
  • Half of a lemon - to squeeze over the arugula 
Rinse and prepare the quinoa following the directions on the package. While that is cooking, you can prep the other items. 

In a pan, saute up your bell peppers and green onions in a pan. I actually greased up my pan with some coconut oil spray from Trader Joes. Supposedly, coconut oil can handle higher cooking temperatures than olive oil. I have not verified if this is true, but I'll take it at face value. 

Add the mushrooms after the bell peppers and green onions are looking slightly cooked/browned. Sautee until the mushrooms are fragrant (you will know when that is because you will want to stick your hand into the pan and taste test one because they smell so good!). If you wanted, you could also add some meaty protein such as chicken, but I left it out. Turn the stove off and let the mixture cool slightly. 

Once your quinoa is cooked, add it to your bell pepper pan and mix to combine everything. If you are preparing individual serving plates, place some arugula on each plate and squeeze some lemon juice over it on each plate, then top with the warm quinoa/bell pepper mixture. 

I actually packed up my leftovers and took them into the office for lunch the next day. This dish definitely tastes better when served warm, but wasn't so bad cold. 

This weekend, I am hosting a Ricotta Fest dinner party with Mai, Paul, and Gretchen. No quinoa will be involved.  Instead, you can expect crostini, ice cream, and pasta. Yes, a far cry from leafy greens and protein rich grains!

No comments :