Curried Quinoa Recipe with Green Onions and Basil

This Curried Quinoa recipe with Green Onions and Basil is packed full of brain-healthy ingredients.

Curried Quinoa

It’s hard to imagine a side dish that’s better for you and your brain than this Curried Quinoa with Green Onions and Basil.

Photo by Caren Alpert

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Curried Quinoa with Green Onions and Basil Quinoa is a grainlike seed that’s an excellent source of complete protein. Make sure to simmer your quinoa until it’s nice and tender—not al dente. With monounsaturated fat from the olive oil, antioxidants from the turmeric (in the curry powder) and basil, polyphenol antioxidants from the dried cherries, vitamin E from the almonds, and the nutrients of our Brain-Boosting Broth, it’s hard to imagine a side dish that’s better for you and your brain than this one.

This healthy recipe comes from Marwan Sabbagh and Beau MacMillan's book The Alzheimer's Prevention Cookbook. Find more of their recipes in Brain-Healthy Foods: The Anti-Alzheimer's Diet.

Curried Quinoa Recipe

• 1 1/2 cups Brain-Boosting Broth (recipe listed later in this article)
• 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
• 1 teaspoon curry powder
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
• 5 to 7 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
• 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
• 1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
• Pinch salt
• Few twists freshly ground black pepper
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring broth to a boil. Add quinoa, curry powder and ginger. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.

2. Transfer quinoa to a rimmed baking sheet, distribute in an even layer, and let cool to room temperature.

3. When cooled, transfer quinoa to a bowl and add green onions, basil, almonds and cherries. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled. Serves 4.

Brain-Boosting Broth Recipe

This broth, an excellent backbone for any soup recipe, was developed with brain health in mind. It includes onions, fennel, parsley, oregano and rosemary, all of which contain antioxidants, as well as parsnips, which are a good source of folic acid. The recipe uses water as the liquid, but you could also start with chicken or fish stock to make an especially flavorful and nutritious broth that would be great for sipping on its own.

• 8 quarts water, chicken broth or fish broth
• 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
• 2 white onions, coarsely chopped
• 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
• 2 bulbs fennel, coarsely chopped
• 1 parsnip, coarsely chopped
• 12 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
• Stems from 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley (save leaves for another use)
• 1 bunch green onions, white and green parts
• 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in half lengthwise
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
• 2 cloves
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1. Bring ingredients to a boil in a large stockpot. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours.

2. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. Makes 2 quarts.

Adapted with permission from The Alzheimer's Prevention Cookbook: Recipes to Boost Brain Health by Marwan Sabbagh and Beau MacMillan available in the Mother Earth Living store.