Herbed Quinoa

Herbed Quinoa

Herbed Quinoa

Protein-rich quinoa was once a staple food of the Incan civilization.  It was considered a sacred food for its unique health-promoting properties.  Quinoa cooks and tastes like a grain, however it is gluten-free making it a great alternative for those with gluten sensitivity.  It provides a rich and nutty flavor base for vegetable and herb additions.

Adding spinach, lemon, garlic and herbs is one of the many ways that Culinary Angels prepares this flavorful dish. Not only does this add delicious flavor, but it gives a punch of nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, folate and iron to support the body’s ability to detoxify, repair and thrive.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Yield:  4-6 side dish servings

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups dried Quinoa (white, red or mixed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Water
  • 1/2 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, or 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup loose, fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 small clove of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pitted date, chopped or 1 tablespoon of raisins, soaked in water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Pinch lemon zest, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:  

Quinoa may be soaked prior to cooking.  To do so: Rinse dry quinoa by placing in a fine mesh strainer under cool water.  Once rinsed, put in a bowl or pot and add enough water to cover quinoa plus 2” of water.  Add a splash of apple cider vinegar and mix.  Cover loosely with a towel and let sit overnight in a cool place, undisturbed.

If using soaked quinoa, drain and rinse well again.  Place dry or soaked quinoa in a small pot.   If pre-soaked, add enough water to just cover the quinoa.  If using dried, add 3 cups of water.  

Add 1 teaspoon of salt.  Mix well.  Cook uncovered on medium heat.  When most of the water has been absorbed, cover quinoa and turn off the heat.  Let the quinoa continue cooking in its own steam for an additional 5-10 minutes.  Keep covered.

Using a blender or small food processor combine the oregano, parsley, thyme, spinach, garlic, chopped date or raisins, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil until a uniform paste forms.

Remove quinoa, fluff with a fork and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Add the herb paste and mix, combing well.  Add salt and lemon to taste.