Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spiced Quinoa and Carrots

Quinoa has quickly become a standard starch in our house. Although, I think it's technically a seed, so that makes it . . . something that's like a starch but not really. All that matters to me is that they sell an organic variety in giant sacks at Costco. But if you prefer to purchase things in more meager quantities (wuss!) you can find it near the cous-cous in most grocery stores. This dish has a bit of a Moroccan flair, courtesy of the spice blend, and tonight it jazzed up some mild-mannered sauteed chicken breasts.

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Spice Quinoa and Carrots
Serves 4 as a side

  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium onion, diced
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of minced fresh mint (optional)
  1. Heat a few big swirls of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and carrot and cook until soft, about five minutes. 
  2. Add spices and stir to coat. Add garlic and chicken broth. Cover pot and bring to boil. 
  3. When boiling, stir in quinoa. Cover and reduce heat to low to medium, just enough to keep it simmering constantly. Cook until quinoa is soft and has absorbed most of the liquid, 10-15 minutes. 
  4. Season to taste with a fair amount of salt and pepper (remember, the only salt it's had until now is the chicken broth). Garnish with mint if you have it and serve.

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