Vegetarian, delicious, fridge-clearing quinoa pilaf recipe #Recipes#vegan#vegetarian February 16 | Guest post by HiLLjO Quinoa is fast becoming my signature dish at home. I started incorporating this versatile grain more and more into our meals at home last fall and it has just blown me away with its potential. Our hands-down favorite quinoa dish right now is Quinoa Pilaf; I even set it out for our family dinner at Christmas! It's vegetarian, delicious, and a great way to clean out the vegetable drawer stragglers (lone celery stalk, anyone?). Plus, there's more protein in one ounce of quinoa than in one ounce of meat! HA! This recipe is very basic and there is no "wrong" way to make it. Quinoa flowering © by net_efekt, used under Creative Commons license. All you will need for this recipe is: 1 to 2 cups dry quinoa (any color) Water Olive oil Several vegetables of different varieties chopped to your liking Spices and lemon First thing to do is to make the quinoa. This will take the longest at about 20 minutes! I use a rice cooker for my grains: I add the two parts water to one part dry quinoa and set to "cook." After it goes on "warm" I unplug the cooker and let the grain soak up the remaining water. As the quinoa cooks I like to prepare my vegetables I'll be using. For this recipe I usually use onion, garlic, celery, carrot and mushroom. I dice my onion and garlic* and simply cut the rest of the veggies into slices. Related Post Peanut butter and jelly banana dog Last week I found myself starving and low on groceries. In a moment of desperate MUST-NOM-NOW-ness, I created this monstrosity, the Peanut Butter & Jelly... Read more While the cooker goes onto warm I get a sauté pan nice and hot over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan and coat the bottom evenly. First add the onion and sauté about two minutes. Next add another tablespoon of oil, stir, and add the prepared vegetables only. Sauté these a bit longer — about five minutes — while stirring very frequently. When the quinoa is done, stir it once to make sure it's fluffy. If it's still liquid-y it needs to sit longer. If it's dry then add two tablespoons oil to the pan, increase the heat one level to medium-hi and add the prepared quinoa. Stir constantly until mixed evenly and decrease heat back to medium. Continue stirring every two minutes, then add the garlic and spices when the mixture has reached even temperature and the onions have become transparent. Serve immediately while warm after drizzling with lemon juice. Some tips: Don't be shy with the salt; quinoa can be very bland and this increases its flavor immensely. Olive oil's smoke point is very low so if the pan gets too hot it can smoke. Try sunflower oil! Get crazy with your vegetable choices! Try eggplant, zucchini, or even okra! Setting aside the chopped garlic allows for the antibacterial compound alicin to be released! EAT. UP! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Guest post written by HiLLjO HiLLjO is the shortened version of my full name, Hillary Jo, that has followed me around for oh, decades now. I am a new wifey, furbaby momma, blogger, aspiring Offbeat Mama. My partner Shawn and I just moved into our first home in late August in Omaha, NE and we hope to bring some funk to the neighborhood. I am a fledgling designer and I love to crochet, make sock monkeys and cook. http://daisytosunflower.blogspot.com PREVIOUS The Offbeat Mama 2011 reader survey: let's talk about having Offbeat Meet-ups NEXT How to plan for a week of meals Show/Hide comments [ 19 ] I've never tried quinoa, but it has been on my 'try out' list for a while now. Any tips on the spices? What do you normally put in there? Or, if it varies, can you share how you pick your spices? Reply Quinoa has a pretty neutral flavor of its own, so you can pretty much go crazy with what you throw in. What you put in your rice will probably work for your quinoa. Also, I like to cook quinoa with a broth of some sort (veggie, chick, or beef) for an extra flavor boost. Reply You can even put broth/bullion cubes or seasonings in the rice cooker with the uncooked quinoa. Seriously, rice cookers are awesome for so many things. Reply There is a variation on this that I absolutely love: cook the quinoa in a mix of half coconut milk and half veg broth. Sauté some lemongrass and onion with whatever vegetables you have. If you have any on hand, add some thyme when the vegetables are close to done. After you've put everything together add juice from one lime and mix. 1 agrees Reply That's brilliant! I agree with the broth tip, that is great! I kind of pick my spices based on what kind of dish I'm making it. For savory I use garlic, salt, pepper, a bit of thyme, lemon. For spicy chili powder, pepper, cayenne and salt is great. It's such a nice basic flavor that I've seen people make all kinds of versions, warm + cold, sweet + savory. Reply Thanks all! Yesterday after work when I picked up my veg at the organic supermarket, I also bought some quinoa. I will try it out next week :). Reply Just a note with the quinoa, rinse it well before you use it. Even if it comes pre-rinsed. Quinoa has saponin on it, and some people are sensitive to it, the more saponin you eat the more you will react. Reply I've been interested in trying quinoa, but using a rice cooker makes it a deal! I'm definitely picked up some quinoa at the grocery this week! Thanks for sharing! Reply I love my rice cooker! It makes quinoa a dream! Reply i made something VERY similar to this for a camping event i attended a little over a year ago. it keeps really well in a cooler. REALLY well. i strongly recommend it for hiking food. 😀 Reply That is a great suggestion! We go camping really often since we live less than a mile away from a campsite so this will be going with us next time! Reply Quinoa is so versatile because it's mild and the grains are so small. I'm not always a big fan of the texture so I tend to blend it with rice or other grains or toss it into soups. It is also really easy to mix in salads. If you're trying to up your protein intake keep a little jar of cooked quinoa in your fridge and sprinkle it into whatever else you're eating. 1 agrees Reply I like the idea of keeping it on hand already cooked. I'm going to do that! Reply i am so excited, this recipe looks simple but delicious! good thing i have a box of quinoa in the cabinet… Reply I love Quinoa like I love rice. So I started using it to make fried rice. I make the Quinoa seperate but cook all my items (eggs, shrimp, frozen veggies, non frozen veggies) in a wok with Soyaki from TJ's then add Quinoa for the final fry. It's delicious and easy. Reply The whole "prepare quinoa in a rice cooker"? Blew my mind. Tried it today and cooked the quinoa perfectly. Thanks for a quick tip! 2 agree Reply NO prob! It's my favorite way to use that thing and make quinoa!!! Reply I just discovered this website with some really interesting quinoa recipes: http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/main_ingredient/quinoa I made the muffins yesterday and they were tasty! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Participate in this conversation via email No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.