This time of year, there are fresh cranberries readily available. This means that I get to start putting cranberries into 9/10ths of my recipes! This quinoa pilaf was the first one I wanted to try. I really like quinoa. It’s gluten free, it’s easy, delicious and a nutritious option. I like to cook up a batch of it in my rice cooker and then store it in the fridge to have it for quick lunches the rest of the week. It’s fabulous with an orange mint dressing and some diced chicken. Just toss, heat and eat. This quinoa pilaf is easy to put together, but it’s much better made with fresh quinoa. When you’re cooking the quinoa, add the fresh cranberries so they have time to cook up and burst into the quinoa. It makes the flavor so much better. If you need to use dried cranberries, you can, but make sure they’re unsweetened. All in all, this is a savory and sweet pilaf that’s a great side dish, but it’s almost enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. It’s not really a dessert, but with the cranberry and orange, sweetened with a tiny bit of maple syrup, it’s just enough to satisfy a craving. The best part is that it’s a much better option than chowing down on the cookies, or Hershey’s kisses that are so tempting to me – it’s packed with good nutrition that makes it a better, and more filling, snack choice.
This quinoa pilaf brings you all the holiday flavors you love in a delicious and nutritious dish. The fresh cranberries burst as they’re cooked with the quinoa. The orange, mint and parsley add a richness of flavor and the maple syrup provides just enough sweet to make this perfect.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
- Maple syrup, to taste
- Sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook until softened.
- Add the quinoa, broth and salt.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Add the cranberries and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Add the pine nuts, orange juice, parsley and mint. Mix well.
- Season to taste with salt and maple syrup. Serve warm.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 25 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan
Diet tags: Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
Entire recipe makes 6 servings
Serving size is about 1/2 cup
Each serving = 7 Smart Points/6 Points
PER SERVING: 220 calories; 12g fat; 1.1g saturated fat; 24g carbohydrates; 4.3g sugar; 7g protein; 3g fiber