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Quinoa Pilaf with Chickpeas, Cranberries, and Toasted Pine Nuts

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Quinoa Pilaf with Chickpeas, Cranberries, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Quinoa Pilaf with chickpeas, cranberries, and toasted pine nuts.

© 2013 Ashley Adams, licensed to About.com, Inc.

You can't ask for much more than this delicious quinoa pilaf when it comes to a healthy meal that is delicious and easy to make, too. Lightly spiced and scented with coconut oil, this dish is easily a flavorful entree on its own or a nice accompaniment to another dish. I love serving this alongside a hearty Red Lentil Curry or Spicy Red Dahl.

A pilaf like this one is pretty versatile, so feel free to change it up a bit; golden raisins are inexpensive and tasty substitutes for the cranberries, and you can experiment with other kinds of nuts and beans as well.

This recipe as written is suitable for dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, soy-free, wheat-free and vegan diets, but make sure to read the ingredients labels on all ingredients to make sure that there are no dairy-derived ingredients or ingredients that do not follow your specific dietary needs.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 T. extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 medium-sized vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 t. curry powder
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 t. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts*
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Preparation:

1. Place the dried cranberries in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over the cranberries and allow them to soak while preparing the pilaf.

2. Heat the coconut oil in medium-large heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently to prevent browning, until the onions are soft and very fragrant. Add the uncooked quinoa, curry powder, cumin, and salt, stirring to combine. Add in the 3 cups of vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a low-boil, the reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

3. Drain the cranberries, then add these, the chickpeas, the toasted pine nuts, and the finely chopped parsley to the pilaf. Mix just to fluff and combine, and serve immediately.

*Cook's Note:

    Typically, I buy my pine nuts raw and toast them myself. This is very easy to do. Simply place the pine nuts in a dry skillet of medium-low heat and frequently shake the skillet for several minutes until the pine nuts are toasted on all sides. Pine nuts will burn very quickly if left unwatched, so toast these while you're pilaf is simmering so that you'll be free to pay attention to their progress.
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