It’s a grey day. Not so cold as it might be, but grey. The sidewalks have turned into miniature glaciers, and you have to walk up a treacherous hill to get to class. Shuffling penguin-like over the ice flows, you bend your head, eyes fixed on the grey, gritty patches of concrete peeking through.
It’s a day when you can really use something colourful for lunch.
This quinoa pilaf certainly fits the bill, and is a speedy, one-pot meal into the bargain. Feel free to substitute or add vegetables according to what you have on hand; spinach is yummy, as are peas or green beans. If you leave out the pine nuts, you can add crumbled feta cheese, perhaps swapping out the spice mix for a lemon vinaigrette.
Quinoa Pilaf with Peppers, Carrots, and Pine Nuts
- 1 C quinoa, rinsed
- 2 C water + 2 tsp lemon juice or yogurt
- olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 small-medium carrots, grated
- 1/2 C pine nuts
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1 T olive oil
Soak the quinoa in the water and lemon juice or yogurt for about 12 hours or overnight.
Heat some olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Pour in the quinoa and its soaking water, bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat, and let it cook for 10 minutes. Then throw in the remaining vegetables and pine nuts, stir, and let cook for another 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the pilaf sit for 5 minutes before gently folding in the spices, salt, and olive oil. Serve immediately or at room temperature.