Tasty and mostly simple food for the whole family.

Tasty, healthy, simple, verstile, practical, seasonal, fun food for all to enjoy. I will endeavour to make things gluten-free, dairy-free (cow's milk only here, I'm not super-human), and low sugar as able. I hope others feel motivated to add their recipes to this collection so we can all try them. Thank you!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mediterranean Quinoa (Gluten-free)

This is a quick, healthy and delicious dish.  It comes together in a pinch and most kitchens will have the ingredients on hand to pull it together easily any night, especially if you keep pesto around like I do. If you don't have it in your kitchen, use what you have and I bet it will be great.  It makes a great potluck dish and is easily doubled or tripled for big gatherings.  It is delicious cold the next day if it makes it that far.

This is the dish that made me fall in love with quinoa.  I am not one to mix sweet and savory typically, but this recipe is perfectly balanced in that way.  Furthermore, I am always wanting to reduce the added oils and such to recipes, but I wouldn't touch it here.  Somehow the olive oil, herbs, feta and currants are just perfectly matched.  The currants make the just right tiny sweetness.  I am just too lazy to chop herbs, so I always use whatever pesto I have on hand in the freezer or fridge.

Mediterranean Quinoa (total time 25-30 minutes)
  • 1cup quinoa
  • 13/4cups water
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/4cup pine nuts, toasted (or almonds, pecans, etc)
  • 1/4cup olive oil
  • 1/4cup lemon juice
  • 3-4Tbls chopped fresh basil, Italian parsley &/or cilantro (I use about 2T cilantro pesto or parsley pesto and 2T basil/spinach pesto)
  • 1/4cup currants (you can use chopped raisins if you like)
  • 1/3cup feta cheese, crumbled
In 2-quart pot, add water and salt and bring to a boil.  Add quinoa to pot and reduce heat to low, simmer 20 minutes.  Once cooked, turn off heat, take off lid and let rest 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, dry-toast pine nuts in skillet on the stove for a few minutes until golden brown.  In medium bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice and herbs or pesto.  Add currants, pine nuts and feta cheese.  Add warm quinoa to bowl and toss gently.  Serve at room temperature.

Adapted from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair