Cranberry Walnut Quinoa Pilaf

Tonight I got to cook quinoa for the first time. I’ve had it before but I have never cooked it. For the last few days I have been looking through my cookbooks looking for new things to try and I landed on this very simple recipe for Cranberry Walnut Quinoa Pilaf. Once it is completely cooked, it doesn’t look very appetizing in my opinion but it was very good. I decided that I would share the recipe with all of you. I only changed one thing because I forgot to get tarragon while I was at the store tonight so I improvised. The recipe is from the Complete Gluten-Free Cookbook by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt. I don’t mean any copyright infringement but just want to share a great recipe with all of you.

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 stalk celery, diced

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 1/2 cups gluten-free vegetable stock (I used chicken broth because I like it better)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 tbsp dried tarragon (I used Herbes de Provence)

Salt and pepper

1/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts (I forgot to toast mine and it still tasted fine)

1 red-skinned, firm-textured apple, diced (I used Breburn)

1 green onions, green tops only, chopped

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Add quinoa, stock, tarragon and cranberries; increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 18 to 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Mine took a little longer but I think it depends on your stove. I left the lid off for the last few minutes until all of the liquid evaporated. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in walnuts, apple and green onion. This recipe makes six servings.

It’s that easy and fairly inexpensive. One of my goals this year is to cook better, healthier food that is inexpensive and fits with my budget. Having massive food allergies while trying to pay off a debt is very difficult. The Complete Gluten-Free Cookbook is an excellent cookbook and I encourage celiacs and non-celiacs to buy it. It offers great recipes that are not only gluten-free but vegetarian-friendly, like this recipe if you stick with the vegetable stock, and family-friendly recipes. I’m sure you can find something for every one in your family in this book.

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