Monday, June 6, 2011

Quinoa with Basil and Pine Nuts

Quinoa is whole grain that has super powers!   It is a "complete" protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids (and it's gluten-free).  I love looking up new ways to prepare Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah).  It has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture, and somewhat nutty flavor when cooked.  This recipe is from one of my favorite cook books The Kind Diet, and I am so happy to share it with you.  It is simple to prepare, very clean and fresh tasting, and extremely healthful.   If you've never tried Quinoa, this is a great "starter" recipe. Skip the white rice tonight and try something new!

*More about Quinoa is provided in this previous post.

Serves 2-4:

1 cup quinoa
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup pine nuts or cashews
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 generous handful fresh basil leaves, rinsed and chopped

Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse well.  Combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and the salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the quinoa cooks, heat the pine nuts in a a small dry skillet over medium heat.  Toast until the nuts are just starting to turn golden, about 6 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan to prevent burning.  Transfer to a serving bowl to cool.

Add the quinoa to the serving bowl with the pine nuts and fluff with a fork.  Add the olive oil and basil, stir to combine, and serve.

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