Quinoa is sautéed in olive oil with garlic and onion and seasoned with curry powder, salt, cumin, black pepper, and cinnamon, cooked in chicken stock and combined with garbanzo beans, pine nuts and raisins in scrumptious easy healthy recipes for spiced quinoa. You can serve this as easy appetizers in lieu of salad or as a side dish to meats, fish, or vegetables. This is especially yummy with barbecues, roasts, or grilled meats and is a perfect match to baked turkey or grilled chicken during thanksgiving or the holidays.
A great substitute to rice or couscous, quinoa is high in protein and is perfect for those who are in a low-carbohydrate diet. It is also a favorite choice among vegetarians and vegans because it supplies adequate amount of protein and amino acids that the body needs to function well. Spiced quinoa goes well with a wide array of dishes and cuisines especially Mexican, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Spanish and Indian food.
There are many ways you can play around with this recipe depending on what you are serving with it, what is available in your kitchen, and your personal taste. You can use fresh or dried herbs like coriander or cilantro, basil, mint, parsley, oregano, or thyme as well as other kinds of spices like paprika, cayenne, chili powder, or red pepper flakes.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 clove garlic, chopped, 1 onion, chopped, ¾ cup quinoa, washed and drained well, 1 teaspoon curry powder, Pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 ½ cups chicken stock, 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained, ½ cup pine nuts, toasted, ½ cup raisins (optional)
Heat saucepan to medium heat, put olive oil, onion and garlic and cook until onion becomes tender or translucent for about 5 minutes. When onion is cooked, stir in quinoa, cumin, curry powder, pepper and cinnamon and chicken stock. Season with salt only if needed. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low. Cover saucepan and continue cooking for 20 minutes or until quinoa softens. Once quinoa is cooked, pour in drained garbanzo beans and pine nuts. If desired, stir in raisins. Serve warm or cold.
You can also play around with different kinds of nuts or dried fruits depending on what is available in your pantry. Walnuts, pecans, almonds, or cashews work just as well as pine nuts. You can also use dried cranberries instead of raisins, or add cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes for a sweet and tangy bite. Varying the ingredients will give the dish more texture and flavors that make it all the more exciting. Sprinkle feta cheese, crumbled goat’s cheese or Parmesan cheese for a creamier and richer dish.