“How can I make quinoa taste good?” I’ve been asked that question a lot! Here’s one answer to that. Use juice as the cooking liquid!
Try a juice that’s a flavorful blend of fruit and veggie juices with no added sugar. It’ll pump up the nutritional value to superfood levels. Plus, it’ll provide color and memorable flavor. Here I used a juice that’s a blend of carrot, apple and lemon juices, ginger puree, and coriander. But you can simply use plain carrot or orange juice if you have that on hand. (Hint: Alternatively, you can use half juice and half water as the cooking liquid for a lighter touch!)
Then, to add herbal fragrance, I’ve included fresh basil. For pops of color and crunch—as well as a protein and fiber boost—roasted pistachios are a highlight. A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil adds a just-right richness to this lovely recipe.
While it’s a high-flavored side dish when warm, I prefer to chill this, toss with baby arugula, and serve as a refreshing salad. Add it to your Meatless Monday recipe collection! Hope you enjoy it!
Calories saved: 150
Why it’s better for you: You’ll get a punch of superfood nutrients from cooking in juice rather than just water or stock.
Disclosure: I work with Wonderful Pistachios to help consumers make healthful snack choices.
- 12 fluid ounces vegetable-fruit juice blend, such as 1915 Bolthouse Farms Organic Cold-Pressed Juice—Carrot, Apple, Lemon, Ginger, Coriander Flavor
- 3/4 cup dry, pre-rinsed quinoa
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced, green and white parts separated
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil or mint
- 1/4 cup salted, roasted pistachios
- 3 cups packed fresh baby arugula
- In a small saucepan, bring the juice just to a boil over high heat. Stir in the quinoa, white part of the scallions, and salt and bring back just to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 18 minutes.
- Stir in the green part of the scallions and olive oil. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes to complete the cooking process.
- Chill. When ready to serve, stir in the basil, pistachios, and arugula.
Per serving: 220 calories, 8g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate, 4g dietary fiber, 6g sugars, 7g protein
The “Before” Version
Inspired by Carrot Rice
Per serving: 370 calories, 21g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol., 400mg sodium, 40g total carbohydrate, 6g dietary fiber, 9g sugars, 7g protein
- Cook white quinoa in a veggie-fruit juice blend to further boost nutritional value, flavor, and color.
- Provide pops of color and crunch, as well as boost fiber and protein, by incorporating pistachios.
- Add herbal fragrance with fresh basil before serving. Consider it an integral ingredient, not a garnish.
- Hint: Can’t wait for this to be chilled and served as salad? Enjoy it warm right away without arugula.