Sunday, May 22, 2011

Side Dish | Quinoa Pilaf with Cranberries and Almonds

I made this yummy savory sweet dish to take as a side for family Sunday dinner. Everyone who tried it absolutely loved it! I came home with an empty bowl and a new recipe to put in the "keep" folder. I know you'll love this dish too! Quinoa is a super food and is great as a main dish too. Try adding this recipe to a beautiful bed of lettuce for a main course, and if you wish, top with grilled chicken and you are set! I certainly didn't make enough of this and I'm planning on making more tonight to keep in the fridge for lunches this week. Could be served warm or cold. I see summer picnic afternoons with this pilaf! ENJOY!

Quinoa Pilaf with Cranberries & Almonds 

Recipe from Whole Foods

Serves 6

Quinoa is naturally wheat and gluten free and is a good source of complete protein for vegans and vegetarians. Try it in this quick and flavorful pilaf.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup sliced almonds 


Heat oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until just softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add quinoa and toast, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in broth and salt and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cranberries, cover again and continue to cook until liquid is completely absorbed and quinoa is tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Toss with almonds and serve.

Sides| Broiled Caprese Tomato Sliders

There are three ingredients that can never go wrong when put together; basil, fresh mozzarella and tomato.  It's like music to my ears... er tongue. So sweet, so delicious so simple and scrumptious. When I think of summer, I think of these three amigos and everything is lollypops and gumdrops. 

This recipe is great alone or try drizzling extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegrette on top. If you really want to go crazy and take this from side dish to main dish, put it on a fresh baguette and you've made yourself a summer sandy (short for sandwich ya know). Enjoy!

Broiled Caprese Tomato Sliders
tomato, sliced
sliced fresh mozzarella
fresh pesto
salad greens, chopped

1.  Turn on your broiler.
2. Slice tomato and mozzarella. 
3. Lay sliced tomatoes onto a cookie sheet, top with mozzarella and put into broiler. Broil until cheese is nice and bubbly. Take out of oven. 
4. Top cheesy tomatoes with desired amount of pesto, then top off with chopped salad greens. Add salt and pepper as needed.