Mushroom and Quinoa Pilaf

Did you know that quinoa actually isn't a grain? It's technically a seed that is part of a group of pseudo cereals, making not a cereal and neither a grain. Surprisingly, it's actually related more closed to spinach and beets than a grain!


Quinoa has been named a superfood for the last 10 years or so now and It's not surprising why!
Quinoa is a complete plant based protein (which means it contains 9 of the essential amino acids) and that is super uncommon to find. In addition to being high in protein, it's also high in fibre, B vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, and flavonoids.

I ate sooo much quinoa back in the day because it was "in".
Quinoa porridge, quinoa pancakes, quinoa burgers, quinoa salads, homemade sushi using quinoa instead of rice, etc. I actually ended up not eating cooking with it for about 6 years because I was so tired of eating quinoa all the time! After all this time (and doing the elimination diet we just did) I am  finally able to bring myself back to eating this superfood in moderation again.


This mushroom and quinoa pilaf is a perfect high protein and balanced side dish. I topped it with fresh pan seared cod and with this super quick chimichurri for a punch of flavour.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 C quinoa
3 tbsp camelina or olive oil
4 C bone broth or water
1/2 tsp salt
1 onion, diced small
5 C crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 C parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Note: I used pre-rinsed quinoa. If your quinoa does not say on the package that it is pre-rinsed, then you must quickly rinse it the same as you would rice. Otherwise the quinoa will have a slightly bitter and unpleasant taste

Easily make this pilau mushroom free by using 2 1/2 C each of carrots and celery instead.

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, heat up 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 C quinoa and toast in the pan for ~5 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning (it will become very aromatic and almost nutty when it's done). Add the salt, bone broth/ water and bring to a boil, then turn down heat to low and cover while simmering for 15-20 minutes. Once all the liquid is all gone, remove from heat and let sit with the lid still on for 5 minutes until fluffy.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and sauté until just starting to look translucent. Add mushrooms and cook au sec (dry). Add garlic, parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Add the quinoa to the now caramelized onions and mushroom mixture, garnish with more chopped parsley and serve beside Cod with a fresh and aromatic chimichurri sauce like I did or with your favourite protein!



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