Sunday, June 10, 2012

Simple Quinoa Pilaf

I keep making a resolution to eat right. Eat sensibly, cut carbs, reduce gluten, I even explored the idea of going grain free. All these, though excellent diet plans and great for health, did not really work for me. I did manage to hold on for a bit, but caved in to my cravings. Guilt sweeps over me when I do that, I feel low, I crave.. It is a vicious circle. Finally, I have come to the conclusion,  I cannot get rid of my current eating habits in one day, it has to be a gradual change ( not too slow, of course) and once I am on track, I will overcome the cravings and naturally go for healthier choices. 
Many will argue that, if you want to get rid of  a habit, do it in one stroke. Do it, NOW! I guess everyone is different. I tried that, I failed. It was a setback. What do I plan now? I will start off, slow and steady. A few changes every day, every week.
The first change was to include Quinoa in my diet, on a regular basis. My first stop was at the library and I picked up The Eat-Clean Book. I found it explained facts in a simple manner and made it easy for me to want to make the changes. There are many simple recipes I hope to try out in my effort to eat and live well.
The book has recipes and many are vegetarian! This solved my problem to an extent. My main problem is getting enough protein in my diet. This is my first step in that direction.

I tried this basic 'From India with love Quinoa Pilaf' recipe, to start off with (another reason was, it was almost weekend and the fridge was almost bare, so this was perfect for me)
I paired this with a simple raita ( coming up soon) and also with Choley for a complete meal.

Here is the recipe, from my kitchen to yours, courtesy Tosca Reno , with my substitutions in bold.

You need:
1tsp Oil
1 cup Quinoa (  rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of saponin that cause bitterness)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp coriander seeds ( I used coriander powder)
1 stick Cinnamon ( I used a small stick)
1 Jalapeno, thinly sliced ( I used Thai chili)
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Ground Green Cardamom
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp fresh Ground Black Pepper
juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 cup Chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup Toasted Almond slivers

Heat Oil in a large pot. Add cumin, coriander seeds, cinnamon and jalapeno and saute until fragrant.
Add Quinoa, turmeric and cardamom and stir well with toasted spice mix.
Stir in 2 cups of water, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is plump.
Remove from heat and fluff and let it sit for 5 mins.
Stir in lemon juice, cilantro and almonds.
Serve! 


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20 comments:

  1. Great substitution A healthy meal, not compromising with indian flavours,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jayasri. I like the fact that it has protein, which is so important.

      Delete
  2. Nice. A healthy meal. And yes, any change will take some time.. and if it to do with food.. making healthy food taste good will surely help

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Radha, I hope it helps, I need some change.

      Delete
  3. Delicious looking pilaf. Wonderfully prepared.

    Deepa

    ReplyDelete
  4. Healthy and definitely wholesome.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Quinoa has such a nutty taste! Simple, easy and nutritious :)

    Following your blog now :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the nutty taste takes some getting used to, but i love it!
      Thanks Jagruti.

      Delete
  6. Delicious & healthy, loved the presentation.

    following you blog, inviting you to visit my space
    http://shwetainthekitchen.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Shweta, I will surely peep in :)

      Delete
  7. Thanks for sharing another great recipe. I love quinoa paired with rajma, do try that if u like rajma-chawal. :)

    - Priti

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Priti, I will pair it with rajma next!

      Delete
  8. Looks very good. Healthy and delicious.

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  9. I am like you, slow and steady diets work for me. I believe in making changes to last for a lifetime like life insurance rather than mutual funds...I am a huge fan of Rujuta Diwekar and her diet fundas, She is one dietician who says no food is bad, so eat ghee, eat paneer eat good fat to cut bad fat. making simple changes like using more of natural sugars than white sugar, jaggery, agave and 1% milk has helped me big time. I am so happy for you that you are making and blogging about positive changes in food. Happy Moms make happy homes.
    Love Ash.

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  10. I've been meaning to try quinoa, and this appears to be the perfect dish to start off. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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