Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sweet & Spicy Pear Quinoa Pilaf! GF, V!

What a great weekend! I can’t believe it has come and gone so quickly! What was the best part of your weekend?
Mine was definitely going out with my friends on Saturday night. It’s amazing how the city comes alive after midnight!
It’s so much fun to visit with all my friends that I haven’t seen in nearly a year!
So anywho, tonight I thought I’d share another recipe from the archives! My Sweet and Spicy Pear Quinoa Pilaf!
Unfortunately, it’s not Specific Carb Diet or Body Ecology Diet friendly, but it is Gluten Free and Vegan! And 100% Delicious!
Here’s what you need: (serves 3-4)
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
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 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).
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.
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!
So there’s another tasty quinoa dish for you guys! This was one of my personal favorite recipes – its complex flavor was just divine! :)
Let’s make it a great week!
What are you looking forward to this week?!
Until tomorrow!

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