Thursday, October 18, 2012

Quinoa Pilaf with Dried Cranberries and Almonds

This must be the week for healthy side dishes. Here is another way to dress up quinoa for a quick side to accompany any meal. Anything with dried cranberries and almonds scores big points with me. In my opinion, if you add in balsamic vinegar and fresh basil, two of my other favorites and you have the makings of a great dish. I served this dish with peach and soy marinated chicken breasts and butternut squash and leek gratins. Overall, a great and super healthy dinner.

Quinoa Pilaf with dried cranberries and almonds (from cookbook: Pretty Delicious) 
Serves 6

12 oz quinoa (about 2 cups)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup sliced almonds -roasted on baking sheet in 350 degree oven 6-8 minutes until golden and fragrant

1. Place quinoa in a large bowl, cover with cold water and then drain though mesh strainer.

2. Place rinsed quinoa, chicken broth and 2 cups of water in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until quinoa is tender and has absorbed liquid;12-15 minutes. Scrape quinoa into a large bowl.

3. Whisk together balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper and add to the quinoa. Toss to coat.

4. Add in the cranberries, almonds and basil leaves and serve warm.

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