Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sweet & Spicy Pear Quinoa Pilaf w/ Broiled Cod!

Here we are again, on a beautiful Friday night. Not a cloud in the sky, and actually HOT outside! Spring is definitely here. And today, my mom put out all our bird feeders so that I could watch them feed from the couch. Again, I am so blessed. There are a like, 7 feeders, I’m not even kidding! I feel a little bit like the Home Alone Bird Lady…haha….
the bird lady!
………Juuuust kidding!
nutty quinoa with sweet, juicy pears
Well, tonight for dinner, we had a very special treat. I made my Sweet and Spicy Pear Quinoa Pilaf. Oh my, was this delectable! I’ve made this before, stuffed inside a butternut squash. Wow. You can find that beautiful, Easter-worthy recipe here. But tonight, I let it stand on its own!
Here’s what you need:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups veg stock
2 pears, diced
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup raisins
2 big handfuls of spinach, chopped
2 stalks of celery, small dice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
juice of 2 lemons
3 green onions, sliced
2 drops agave
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp EVOO
a little water to stretch the sauce
sweet and spicy pear quinoa deliciousness!
Here’s what you do:
First, in a dry pan, toast your almonds over medium-low heat. This releases their deep nutty flavor.  Toast until fragrant. Next, put your quinoa on the stove and cook it according to the package directions using veg stock.  While the quinoa is cooking, mix the dressing ingredients and set aside. After the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid, but before you fluff it with a fork, take it off the heat, add your spinach and “lid it” for about 3 minutes so it wilts. Then, add your dressing and fluff/stir it in with a fork. Next, add your pears, celery, almonds and raisins and fluff/stir the those in as well.  Finally, cover it for just a couple of minutes to allow the raisins to plump. Add salt to taste. (I added about a tsp).
so ridiculously good!
With this amazing pilaf, I made broiled Cod. Wow. Lobsta Bakes’ wild, ocean-caught Cod is absolutely succulent. It is so flakey, and a bit chewy.  The “meat” is delightfully sweet, and is highlighted so well by the lemon! I broiled it for about 15 minutes with 1 tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice. Fantastic.
beautifully flakey cod!
This meal was just outstanding — if I do say so myself :). My parents raved about the pilaf and said I could serve this at a restaurant! It was just bursting with flavor! The nutty quinoa, with the zingy-punch from the lemon and Dijon dressing was complimented perfectly by the underlying sweetness from the pears. This flavor combo paired wonderfully with the intense sweetness from the raisins, and the subtle backdrop of spice from the cinnamon and allspice. It was just fantastic.
a symphony of textures, flavors, and colors!
And not just the flavors — the textures too!! The pears were ripe and juicy, the almonds gave a beautiful crunch, the raisins were sticky and chewy, while the quinoa *pop* in your mouth! It was so fun to eat! And it looked beautiful — with all the soft lime green colors poking through the dark quinoa. It truly was a delicious explosion in your mouth!
I hope everyone has a fun and relaxing weekend!

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