Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) has been cultivated in the Andes for 5,000 years. For a flavor burst, add fresh herbs at the end of cooking and use herb sprigs as a garnish. MAKES 4 SERVINGS OF QUINOA PILAF
• 1/2 cup chopped onions
• 2 to 3 cloves minced fresh garlic
• 1/2 cup chopped red, orange and/or yellow bell peppers
• 1/2 cup finely chopped baby portabella mushrooms (optional)
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon ground basil
• 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram
• 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
• 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (use a fine-mesh strainer)
• 2 cups fat-free chicken or vegetable broth (preferably organic and low-sodium)
• 1/4 cup fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley and/or basil
• Fresh herb sprigs: rosemary, thyme, sage and/or basil
• Olive oil or butter, for serving
1. Sauté onion, garlic, peppers and mushrooms in hot oil in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Add dried herbs and quinoa and cook 1 additional minute, stirring constantly.
2. Add broth. Simmer for about 15 to 25 minutes until quinoa is fluffy and liquid has evaporated. Add a little extra water, if needed. Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking process.
3. If desired, serve with a little additional butter or olive oil. Garnish with herb sprigs.
Letitia L. Star specializes in writing about healthy eating, gardening and green living topics. She is a frequent contributor to The Herb Companion.
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