Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Farewell Ouray, Hello Discipline

Tex here, back home in Texas after a wonderful week in Ouray, Colorado. For a tiny town, they sure have some good eats. And I think I tried just about all of them. From Mouse's incredible chocolate to the Beaumont Grill's amazing fried brie. Oh. My. Goodness. You have no idea. I'm getting choked up just thinking about it.
But, alas, all good things must come to an end. Although feeling bloated isn't necessarily one of those good things. The bloating I did want to end. That meant I had to get back on track and start eating healthy again.
So I wanted something yummy--something besides potatoes--to go with my grilled chicken breasts. I've had this big bag of quinoa in the pantry for while now. I loved it mixed with roasted cauliflower and spinach (recipe here), but whenever I've tried use it as a substitute for potatoes or rice, the quinoa lacked appeal.
I hit the Internet, looking for quinoa recipes. Quinoa Pilaf? With pine nuts? I love pine nuts. Hmm...
Guess what? It was totally delicious! I will definitely make this again. Not only was it yummy, it was easy. And we're all about easy, right?
Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • half of a large onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
Put the broth and quinoa in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and grain is tender.
While that's cooking, toast your pine nuts in a large dry skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown and fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove toasted nuts from pan and set aside. Heat the oil in the same skillet and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and begin to brown.
(Yes, they are turning brown. I promise.)
When the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large serving bowl. Stir in pine nuts, onions and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Good thing that salad is there. Otherwise we'd have a monochromatic meal. And that would not be fun. I think that's why God created so many colorful veggies.
I did not have any fresh parsley, so I added about a tablespoon of dried parsley to the quinoa toward the end of the cooking time. But the onion and pine nuts were what made this dish. I love the different textures and the flavors paired very well.
I'm sure our GAL knows this, but did you know that quinoa is wheat and gluten free AND a good source of protein? That makes it one of them there super foods. Which is good, because I plan on making this more often.
Have you ever had quinoa? What are your thoughts on this super food?


  1. I love quinoa, so I'm sure I will love this!! Thanks for sharing. We're glad you're back!

    1. How do you usually fix it, Missy?

    2. Mindy, I sometimes buy boxes that come with flavor packets (like garlic). I think I've also shared a recipe on here--with butternut squash (or maybe that wasn't quinoa).

  2. I have some quinoa in the pantry, but haven't looked for a recipe to use it, yet. I'll have to try this - - oh, but no pine nuts. Do you think I could substitute slivered almonds?

    And your book is on my TBR pile! I'm determined to finish Pride and Prejudice first (no, I had never read it!), but then you're next. Or Ruthy. Whoever is on top :)

    1. Jan, I'm honored to be in your TBR pile. Actually, I'm reading your book right now, after what seems like months of no reading at all.

      Don't like pine nuts, huh? Almonds might good, even some toasted pecans. Both still have a nice texture and the toasting really enhances the flavor.

    2. You're reading MY book? Aw shucks. I'm thrilled :)

      And it isn't that I don't like pine nuts - I just don't have any in the pantry right now. I'll try the almonds if I get to this recipe before I get to the store.

  3. Guess what I'm reading right now, Mindy? Gasp!!!!!!! Loved the first meeting. That packed quite a punch.

    And thanks for the quinoa recipe. I tried some years ago and thought it was horrid, but I've had some tastey dishes at vegetarian restaurants so obviously I just need a better recipe. And I'm all for power sources of protein.

    1. Gasp is right, Kav! I'm so excited you're reading my book! Happy dancing in Texas!

      I kind of felt the same way about quinoa. , Not that it was horrid, just knew I had to find the right recipes.

  4. I heartily approve. Love quinoa, but you are right. It needs dressing up. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  5. That discipline thing!!!! I've been hiding things to stay on my health kick. Cake? In the back fridge, out of sight, out of mind.

    Donuts??? Feed 'em to the kids ASAP!

    Almond cake made today by McKenna, Tastefully Simple Deliciousness??? Hidden in other room while I eat nuts. :)

    I've never had quinoa.... But it's high carb so I wonder if I'd rather have cookies???? :)

    If I'm spending 39 carbs on a cup of food, I think it better be sugar-related!!! So what's the draw of quinoa? Is it a taste thing? I love rice pilafs and long-grained rices and they're high carb too, so I trade off sometimes. But when you're pounding this keyboard every day, that's like zero calorie burning so I'm being crazy selective as I get older.