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Most Flavorful Quinoa Pilaf with Veggies

If you like fried rice (who doesn't?!) you are definitely gonna love this Quinoa Pilaf dish. It's super quick and easy and packed with flavors. It also makes a perfect side dish for your holiday feast! Certainly beats plain rice by a mile if you ask me. 


Flavor wise, I prefer to make it umami and sweet, which pairs perfectly with the earthiness of the quinoa grains (technically quinoa is a seed, however, it is prepared, cooked and eaten as a grain and has similar nutritional value) and feels super seasonal too! The method is honestly so quick and simple to a point it feels weird to call it a recipe. A few simple steps and no more boring plain grains!

I have also paired this dish with my Vegan Gluten Free Falafels and they make a very delicious and satisfying combo together. 


Now about how to cook quinoa, if you have a rice cooker, use it! That's the easier way to do it. I actually have a rice cooker that has the built-in program for "quinoa" so I literally just add quinoa and water with the ratio 1 cup to 1 and 3/4 cup then press the quinoa button. If you do not own one, worry not! I'll write down the regular pot method below.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
1 sweet onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 cup frozen sweet peas
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon coconut amino
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce or Tamari sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

TO MAKE:

- Thoroughly rinse quinoa in a fine-meshed sieve;
- Add rinsed quinoa, 1 and 3/4 cups of vegetable stock to a pot, bring to a boil then cover with the lid, reduce the heat to low/medium and let it simmer for about 15 minutes till quinoa is tender and all liquid is absorbed;
- Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the diced onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes till slightly caramelized;
- Add cumin, garlic, sweet peas and carrots, stir to combine and add the coconut amino and tamari/soy sauce;
- Add the rest 1/4 cup of vegetable stock and let the vegetables simmer over low/medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until carrots are tender;
- Finally, add cooked quinoa to the pan and stir to combine;
- Turn off the heat and drizzle on the lemon juice, serve immediately!

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