Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spiced Quinoa

I've suddenly become fixated on this healthy grain. I've been ill for the past few months and haven't focused on eating in a healthful manner. In addition, my appetite hasn't been consistent. I'm hoping the addition of this grain along with more vegetables and spices/herbs will help me enjoy my meals more.

No pics on this one yet. I will update and add them the next time I make this side.

Spiced Quinoa

1/4 cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3/4 to 1 C grated carrot (estimate it - don't lose your shorts over this)
1 1/4 cups raisins
1tsp cumin
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) optional
1/2 cup chopped parsley OR cilantro


  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir onion, carrots, raisins, and cumin until onion becomes golden, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in quinoa and allow to toast for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour in orange juice, water, and zest and stir to combine.
  4. Bring this to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is absorbed - 15-17 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Add nuts and parsley or cilantro and fluff with a fork before serving.

I served this with citrus-marinated boneless, skinless chicken breasts and will post that recipe soon.


Quinoa: You can easily purchase this grain in the "health food" aisle at your local grocery store. Barring that, find a local co-op or natural foods store. They'll likely have it in bulk. This grain packs a punch of protein that rice just doesn't have. In addition, it's gluten-free for those of you who are struggling with the damn gluten.

Raisins: If you feel that yours are a little tough, soak them in some warmed apple juice or water prior to adding them to the pot. I used a mixture of regular and golden. I think this would also work well with some snipped apricots.

Oil: Feel free to reduce this if you're looking to lower the fat content or if you find the finished product to have too much of it. I usually start with 2 Tbl and up it if my veggies require it.

Orange Juice: I bought a case of oranges and grapefruit from the citrus sale at my school and decided to squeeze the juice rather than buy some from the store. Either way will yield a good end product.

The kid was a little skeptical. He's on a mac n cheese and chicken noodle soup bender right now. I'll continue to introduce him to this grain, though. I'm playing around with a hot breakfast quinoa and think he'll go for it. The Pack Mule was digging how the citrus in both the quinoa and chicken complimented each other.