Fun fact: While most think of quinoa as a grain, it is actually the seed of the beautiful chenopodium plant (see photo below), which is a relative of beets, spinach and chard. Since quinoa is not technically a cereal grain, like rice, wheat or oats, the Whole Grains Council calls quinoa a “pseudo-cereal” – a name for foods that are cooked and eaten like grains and have a similar nutrient profile.
As with any recipe, feel free to use any veggies and spices in this one – we personally might throw a little kale in, along with some delicious mushrooms, to complement this nutty, meaty dish!
Four-Spice Quinoa (Serves 4)
½ cup quinoa
3 tbsp organic canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced (or your favorite bell pepper)
2 pinches cayenne pepper
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cumin
2 pinches sea salt
1 tbsp organic sesame seeds, toasted
1 tbsp pistachios, coarsely ground
3 green onions, thinly sliced (for garnish)
- Rinse quinoa well in a strainer to remove the saponin (soap-like) coating.
- In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and sauté the onion, garlic and pepper for 2 minutes. Add the quinoa and stir well.
- Add ¾ cup water and all the spices. Cook for 5 minutes; then add about ½ cup water and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and add the sesame seeds and pistachios. Garnish with green onion.
Nutritional information per serving: 248 calories | 28 g carbohydrates | 0 mg cholesterol | 14 g fat | 6 g protein