Quinoa Pilaf

DF, V, VG if w/out feta cheese, GF

I try to make every dinner well rounded with protein, vegetables and a starchy side.  There are many different proteins and vegetables that I alternate between, but when it comes to a starch I usually rotate between rice and potatoes.  Lately I’ve been trying to get out of this rut by making gnocchi, pasta, and even quinoa.  When I made this quinoa pilaf I was ready to eat the whole pot myself…it’s really that good.  Luckily for me, I was able to restrain myself.  When I pulled it out the following night as a leftover and added leftover sauteed green beans I was able to enjoy it again as a dish even better than the original.  It was like hitting a gold mine.  When you make it add a leftover veggie, whether it’s green beans, squash, peas, etc.

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Quinoa Pilaf
1 c quinoa
1 3/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c almonds, chopped
1/4 c dried cherries
1/2 c feta cheese
2 scallions, chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 c arugula, chopped
1 c leftover veggies, chopped

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Place the quinoa in a medium pot and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, about 2 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, toast the almonds in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the almonds, dried cherries, feta cheese, scallions, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, arugula, and leftover veggies. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

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