Some time ago, I didn’t know to pronounce quinoa or what it was. Now I love it, and often correct others when they don’t say something that even remotely sounds like “keen-wah.” I can be annoying, I know.
Quinoa is a grain-like seed, but isn’t considered a true grain (e.g. wheat) because it doesn’t come from a grass. And, because it provides all nine essential amino acids, it’s a complete protein. In case you’re a dork like me and might appreciate the information, those amino acids are Leucine, Isoleucine, Lysine, Valine, Methionine, Tryptophan, Phenylalanine, Threonine and Histidine. They’re essential because our bodies don’t produce them, so they must be consumed. Lesson over. There may be a pop quiz next week.
The combination of fresh mint and parsley (don’t even think about dried!), nutty quinoa, and crunchy pistachios is nothing short of glorious. This dish is full of flavor, and every time I eat it, I feel as though I’m treating my body to a dose of vibrance. I first tried a variation of this recipe about a month ago, and have been making it weekly since. A little obsessive, yes, but it’s easy to make, full of protein and antioxidants, and is that good. And when I like something, I like it until I don’t anymore. I’ve yet to tire of this protein-packed bowl of awesomeness.
Materials (makes 4 cups, adapted from the 2013 Food Lover’s Cleanse)
1 cup quinoa (regular or red)
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (you can use water, but may need to add salt to taste)
4 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2-3 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup roasted, shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1. Place quinoa into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and toast for 4-5 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. The beads will begin to pop and brown.
2. When the quinoa starts to smell nutty (about 5 minutes), add broth and bring to a boil.
3. Lower heat to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until quinoa is tender, about 30 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
5. Add chopped parsley, mint and pistachios, and stir gently.
So easy. Bon appétit!