A friend asked me to bring a side dish, so I made up this quinoa pilaf. It was delightful, and filling enough to make a light vegetarian meal if you wanted. Quinoa has complete protein and when you combine it with nuts, seeeds and crumbled goat cheese, you have a delicious summer meal! For bigger appetites, pair with grilled chicken or fish. Enjoy!
Ingredients (no need to be exact)
2-4 cups of cooked white, red or black quinoa (or combination)
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp butter
4 thinly sliced green onions
2 blood oranges or regular oranges, peeled, halved and sectioned
½ cup dried tart cherries, goji berries, or ½ cup dried cranberries
¼ to ½ cup slivered or sliced almonds or sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds (if you are allergic to nuts)
½ cup chopped cilantro or parsley
Crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Juice from 1 orange
Juice from 1 lemon or lime
2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of honey
sea salt and pepper to taste
Cook quinoa ahead of time as directed. Cool in refrigerator. In a small pan, add chopped garlic and 1 Tbsp of butter. Cook garlic over medium heat, watching closely until a golden brown. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, add quinoa, garlic, onions, chopped oranges, dried cherries, goji berries or cranberries, almonds and parsley.
Mix juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in small bowl and pour over quinoa mixture. Stir and serve. May be served at room temperature or cold. (This is a great party addition, since it can sit at room temperature for long periods without spoiling.)