Last week we look at the basics on quinoa and how to soak and cook it. Today, let’s look at some family favorite ways of fixing it.
When I went gluten-free, I had just discovered couscous and was enjoying it. Since couscous is a wheat-based pasta, it was totally out after going GF and at the time I couldn’t find a replacement for it. Later, I discovered that quinoa was the perfect GF substitute for any recipe calling for couscous.
Quinoa’s slightly bitter, slightly earthy taste pairs exceptionally well with chocolate or fruits. Ground into flour and put in chocolate cookies will work well. Or cooked whole, chilled until cold and tossed with fruit. I sometimes add dried fruit to hot quinoa pilafs, such as dried apricots, as they pair well together.
My Quinoa Cranberry Pilaf is a good example of how to pair sweet and bitter. It’s an excellent sweet and savory dressing replacement and we enjoy it at Thanksgiving and Christmas, however I use it year-round as a side dish.
Last year, as I tested multiple recipes for the Christmas mailer, I quickly fell in love with this sweet and savory dish. We ate it for that meal, but the next day I reheated it for lunch and it took on a crispy crust that was awesome. So if you like a crisp, browned crust and a tender inside, spread this in a baking dish and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees until the top looks rightly browned to you. I promise it won’t disappoint!
Quinoa Cranberry Pilaf
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
3 Tbs lemon juice, divided
2 Tbs coconut oil or butter
½ onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1¾ cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt
½ cup crispy or raw pecans, optional
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup golden raisins
1 apple, diced
½ orange, peeled, segmented, deseeded and chopped
zest of ½ orange
Dash sage, optional
In a bowl, combine the quinoa, water and 2 Tbs lemon juice. Stir and cover. Soak 24 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa, stock and salt. Stir, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the stock is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional few minutes to drive off extra moisture, if needed.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in ½ Tbs lemon juice and the remaining ingredients. Taste, adjust seasonings, and add the extra ½ Tbs lemon juice, if needed.
Can be served warm or at room temperature or spread in a pan and cooked at 350 degrees until the top is lightly browned.
This post is part of Soaking Grains Gallery.