Toasted Quinoa Pilaf

For the longest time I’ve been wondering how to improve on the taste of quinoa, one of nature’s only complete proteins from a plant source that we should all be looking for ways to eat more of, and then I found this great recipe idea from Chef Michael Smith. Then I lost it. Rather I lost where I’d put it. Thank goodness for internet searching. 

Much like what cooking in the pilaf method would do for plain old white rice it would also do for quinoa or pretty much any grain you would want to use and let’s face it… wouldn’t we all eat more of these good for you foods if they tasted half as good as they were good for you…?


With the bit of extra effort you could indeed use this method for most any/all grains and have them on standby in the fridge. Plenty full of flavour to stand on its own as a side dish, you’d also have it ready as a boost for any salad as a main or secondary ingredient, to using it as part of a stuffing in place of bread or bread crumbs, you’ll be glad you did.



Toasted Quinoa Pilaf
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  1. 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  2. 2 TBSP olive oil
  3. 1 small onion, minced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 2 cups chicken broth or water
  6. Large pinch of Kosher salt
  7. Few grinds of freshly ground pepper
  1. Pour the olive oil into a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until they just begin to turn golden brown.
  3. Add the quinoa and continue cooking for a few minutes longer, stirring constantly, until the quinoa is golden brown and toasted, about 5 minutes; this will add lots of aromatic flavour to the dish.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth or water, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  5. Cover and cook until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa has unfurled and is tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Let stand for 5 minutes or so before serving
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