Monday, February 27, 2012

Apricot Cilantro Quinoa Pilaf

Happy Monday!

It's a cloudy, rainy one here in to Los Angeles, but a change of pace is nice sometimes. What news do I have? Firstly, Meatless Monday is featuring my soup recipe from last week (which they are calling Orzo Spinach Soup), and my photograph is on their homepage. Love those guys.

And I'm halfway through my new book (quite an accomplishment I think).

Anyway, I've been cooking up a storm and have lots of great recipes waiting in the wings. But today, I'm writing up this one for Apricot Cilantro Quinoa Pilaf.

You see tons of rice pilaf recipes, but I love using quinoa instead. It's super high in protein and has a great nutty flavor. I used an organic tri-color quinoa blend from Trader Joe's that I just love! But any sort will work.

For this recipe, I combine apricots, cilantro, and toasted pumpkin seeds, giving it a little bit of a Middle Eastern flair. This dish is great on its own (lots of protein), as a side dish, or served with eggs for breakfast.

Apricot Cilantro Quinoa Pilaf
Serves 4 people
Cooking time: about 20 minutes
Vegan; gluten-free

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock or water
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • lemon juice (optional)

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute for a few minutes, until softened. 
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa for 2 minutes under cold water.
  3. Add the stock, quinoa, and apricots. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes (per quinoa package instructions). 
  4. Once the quinoa has finished cooking, remove from heat and fold in the pumpkin seeds and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  5. If desired, finish with a little fresh squeezed lemon juice and garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!