Quinoa is like a lighter, finer rice. It’s ridiculously high in protein – and is actually the only grain that is a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids making it an excellent choice for vegetarians. It serves as the perfect base for pilafs and medleys, and works great as a side dish or tossed in a salad. You could serve this cranberry apple quinoa mixture on the side of roasted chicken or have it, like I did, simply over a bed of spinach.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 Granny Smith apples, diced
- 1 cup cranberries, halved
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1-2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper
First, rinse the quinoa well and set aside. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized pot and then add the quinoa and little salt. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes or so, until all of the water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325. In a cast iron skillet (you’ll be transferring it to the oven later. If you don’t have cast iron, any skillet will do, you’ll just need to put everything in a baking dish when it comes time to bake). heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
Add thyme, curry powder and cinnamon and stir to flavor the oil. Add the onion, celery and apples and stir to coat everything evenly with oil. Continue cooking until the apples soften. Remove skillet from heat and add cranberries. Mix in quinoa and stir until evenly combined.
Stir in vegetable broth, maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste.
Move the cast iron skillet to the oven (or transfer contents to a baking dish) and bake 20-25 minutes.