Thursday, April 3, 2014

Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf

A great little side dish, or main dish, with protein rich quinoa as the star.
Of course, I had the biggest Costco bag of quinoa lurking about the house, which is quite challenging to go through with two people in the house.
I added lots of mushrooms, onions, celery and red pepper.  The celery and red pepper are totally optional, but I think they added to the flavor and the beauty of the dish.

Speaking of beauty.... really, I do think this is an ugly dish, and you know how much I hate ugly food. Oh well, it was tasty and a great side dish with our dinner, and I think you might like to try it.

One thing... I did try this in the crockpot one Sunday and left it on low for 4 hours.  We came back to a yucky, stodgy mess that tasted quite nice.  However, just make this one on the stock top, it is much better that way.

Try it, and add a little of your own ideas to the mix.

 (disregard the crockpot in the background, that version didn't work out... LOL)
Serves about 6

1 1/2 cup quinoa
3 cups broth, vegetable or chicken
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 cup onion, minced
1 cup celery, minced
2 cup red pepper, minced
2 garlic, minced
1/2 tsp thyme, fresh or dried
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh pepper 
1/2 cup almonds, sliced and toasted
1/2 cup green onions, sliced

In a large saute pan (with a lid), heat the oil over medium high heat.  When hot, saute the onions and mushrooms until they start to brown, approx 5-7 minutes.  Don't add salt, as you don't want the mushrooms to release their water, you want them to brown/carmelize. You will add salt at the end.

Add the garlic, celery and red pepper, and saute until they soften, about 2-3 more minutes.  Add the dry quinoa and toast for another 1-2 minutes.  Add the broth, loosening any browned bits with a spatula.  Add salt, pepper and thyme.  Mix and bring to a boil.  Immediately reduce heat to medium low and cover, cooking for 18-20 minutes.   Stir occasionally.

Remove from heat, add almonds and green onions and mix.  

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