I love this Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro (or use flat leaf parsley if you're not a cilantro fan.) And this tasty quinoa side dish is low-glycemic, high-protein, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and South Beach Diet friendly! Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
How do you feel about quinoa? It's something I was slow to warm up to, and for a long time I didn't think I'd ever be much of a quinoa fan. Then I made Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes, Cucumbers, and Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette, followed by Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad and Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro and I was surprised to discover how much I liked it.
This Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro may be my favorite quinoa recipe yet. The quinoa is sauteed in oil for a few minutes before it's cooked in chicken or vegetable stock, and then a generous amount of toasted pine nuts and chopped green onion and a little chopped cilantro is stirred in before it's eaten warm. If you're not a cilantro lover, chopped flat-leaf parsley could also be used here. And if you haven't had quinoa yet, this is a recipe you should definitely try.
Most quinoa has to be rinsed to remove a natural coating called saponin. Rinse until there is no foaminess, and then let the quinoa drain.
Heat the oil in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, add the rinsed quinoa and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the quinoa starts to smell slightly toasted.
Add the chicken or vegetable stock (it will sputter a little). Give the mixture a stir, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
While the quinoa cooks, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan just until they smell toasted. (This will take only 1-2 minutes at high heat; don't let pine nuts get too brown or they'll taste bitter.) Pine nuts have gotten very expensive, so if they aren't in the budget I'd use slivered almonds.
Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe adapted slightly from The Sunset Cookbook.)
1 T canola or grapeseed oil
1 C quinoa, rinsed (unless the package says it does not need to be rinsed)
1 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. Vege-Sal (or a slightly smaller amount of salt)
3/4 cup pine nuts (or slivered almonds), toasted in a dry pan
1/2 cup sliced green onion
2 T finely chopped cilantro (or flat-leaf parsley)
Check the package to see if the quinoa needs to be rinsed, and if it does put quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears; let quinoa drain at least 5 minutes.
Heat the oil in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add quinoa and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the quinoa starts to smell toasted. Add the chicken or vegetable stock, being careful if the stock sputters up from the hot pan. Add Vege-Sal or salt, stir and bring the mixture to a boil; then lower heat to a simmer and let the quinoa cook covered for 15 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed.)
While quinoa cooks, toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over high heat, just until the nuts smell toasted. (This will only take 1-2 minutes if the heat is high; don't let the pine nuts get too brown or they will taste bitter.)
When quinoa is done, let stand covered for 5 minutes. While quinoa stands, slice green onions and chop cilantro (or parsley.) After 5 minutes, fluff quinoa with a fork. Stir in toasted pine nuts, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro. Serve hot or warm.
South Beach/Low-Carb Suggestions:
Quinoa is a high-protein seed which is eaten as a grain. It's approved for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. Quinoa is relatively high in carbs, even though it's also rich in protein and has fiber. Use portion control if you're eating this for any type of carb-conscious diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Great Recipes Featuring Quinoa:
Better-than-Mom's Chicken, Broccoli, and Quinoa Casserole from Kalyn's Kitchen
How To Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker (plus recipes) from Gluten-Free Goddess
Ground Turkey and Quinoa Patties with Mint, Cumin, and Yogurt-Tahini Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Quinoa Salad with Smoky Lime Dressing from FamilyStyle Food
Asian Quinoa Salad with Snap Peas, Red Bell Pepper, Celery, and Peanuts from Kalyn's Kitchen
Quinoa-Lentil Salad with Crispy Shaved Brussels Sprouts ~ A Spicy Perspective