Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Quinoa With Ginger, Cherries And Pine Nuts

Alright, Divas, pop quiz!

Do you know what "quinoa" is (don't cheat by clicking the link)?  

And how many of you eat it on a regular basis? 

If you answered yes and yes, then skip to the recipe!

For all you quinoa virgins, would you like to know why quinoa is the whole grain that I believe most people should be eating but aren't?  I mean, we all know that loading up our diets with whole grains has a plethora of health benefits.  They reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood coagulation, reduce the risk of many types of cancer, help regulate blood glucose levels and help maintain healthy weight.

But you're probably wondering what makes little ole quinoa so special?

Quinoa is an ancient whole grain, often referred to as "the gold of the Incas."  It's high in protein - and not only that - but it's a complete protein, meaning it includes all nine essential amino acids.  If you're vegetarian or vegan, this is a must have staple in your diet.  It's health benefits go on and on, but it has high levels of magnesium, considered essential to cardiovascular health, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants (for more info click here).

And the best part?  It cooks up in 15 minutes flat.

Oh, and it tastes yummy! 

I'm not going to write a quinoa thesis here (though I could!), but I am going to urge you to eat more of this stuff.  It's a regular staple in my household - I simply adore it.  I concocted this recipe as a side dish to go with Whole Roast Duckling (thank you Julia Child), hence the ginger and cherry flavors which pair amazing with duck.  However, it was so delicious, it could easily be a stand alone meatless dish, too.  So load up your cupboard with some quinoa and get to cooking! 

Quinoa With Ginger, Cherries and Pine Nuts
Serves 4 people
Cooking time:  20 minutes

1 cup quinoa
2 cups filtered water
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoon olive oil or walnut oil
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the shallot and ginger and saute for about 4-5 minutes, or until softened.  Add the quinoa and stir into the oil, cooking for one more minute.  Then add the water and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.

Let sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.  Stir in the cherries and pine nuts.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Top with parsley.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
organic quinoa, dried cherries and pine nuts from Whole Foods

organic shallots, ginger, organic parsley, walnut oil from Hollywood Farmers Market

1 comment:

  1. Love, love, love quinoa. It makes a great side dish...or main dish! It's good to toss in lots of herbs like parsley too. Yum.