Easy Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa is a main staple of my diet. It’s actually a seed,  but is considered a whole grain. It also is a complete protein so it’s good for vegetarians.  I love it because it’s so versatile. Once you cook up a batch you can divide and use it in different ways. I usually make some for dinner and then save some for breakfast topped with honey, raisins and cinnamon. This is a good alternative if you are sensitive to oats.

Be sure to rinse the dried quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove the natural residue that can be disruptive to some digestive systems. If you notice a bitter taste at all on your quinoa then you probably didn’t rinse it well enough. It is a naturally occurring coating so it’s not dangerous, just doesn’t taste good.

fluffy quinoa

I let my quinoa steam in a covered pot for about 20 minutes after bringing to a boil.

I added some spices, including tumeric, pepper, and dried garlic.


I added a tblspn of nutritional yeast for a “cheesy” creamy flavor. Nutritional yeast is a source of B vitamins and good for vegetarians who may be lacking in that nutrient. Can’t wait to cook with this more often!

nutritional yeast

I put in  lentils and leftover roasted veggies that included onion, cauliflower, broccoli, and beets and topped with chopped walnuts. Try: tomatoes, corn, black beans and cumin for a mexican flavor. Or edamame, carrots, mushrooms and tamari for an asian flavor.

roasted veggies

lentils and quinoa

Stir well and bake for about 15 minutes to warm up and blend together.

I am going to come right out and say I used too much tumeric which is why it’s so YELLOW.  I got so excited about this healing spice I was overzealous in my sprinkling. Quinoa soaks up flavor like tofu, so go easy on whatever you add to it. Making small (or big) mistakes is part of intuitive, creative cooking- you learn as you go!

Check out my article on being brave in the kitchen and learning to trust your instincts here!



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Quinoa & Lentil Kedgeree (Or, Curried Beans & Rice with a new grain twist) | That Chicken Ranch in Napa

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