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Quinoa Pilaf picture

Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a grain that is delicious, slightly nutty in flavor and loaded with protein. And it's gluten free! Pilaf typically refers to a rice dish, but here we make this simple side with quinoa instead.

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  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

Serves 4 to 6 as a side

  1. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water.  Alternatively, place the quinoa in a bowl, cover with cold water and then drain well.  (This will remove any bitter taste that naturally occurs with some quinoa.)
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. When hot, add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften but not brown.
  3. Add the quinoa to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.  Add the water and stir well; bring the water to a simmer.
  4. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  You may need to adjust the heat to keep it below boiling.  Add the raisins or dried cranberries (if using) and continue simmering the mixture for 3 to 5 more minutes or until all water has been absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through. (When cooked, quinoa will have a translucent center with a white ring around the outside of each grain.)
  5. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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