Recipe: Spring Vegetable and Quinoa Pilaf
Use your own combination of veggies, or follow the recipe below/Photo by FotoosVanRobin
Though considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It’s low glycemic, and the only “grain” that contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein (7 grams per half-cup cooked). It’s also rich in manganese and copper, two minerals required as cofactors for the production of antioxidants. What’s more? It’s ready to eat in just 10 minutes. Read more of Rachel Froelich’s suggestions on how (and why) to incorporate more antioxidant-rich ingredients into your recovery meals.
Spring Vegetable and Quinoa Pilaf
1 3/4 cups of low-salt chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt plus additional for seasoning
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained 3 times
6 baby golden or beets, peeled, and cut into 1/3-inch cubes*
3 tablespoons of canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of 1/2-inch pieces orange bell peppers
1 cup of 1/2-inch pieces red bell peppers
1/2 pound of asparagus, trimmed, and cut on a diagonal into 3/4-inch pieces
1 cup of 1/2-inch pieces of trimmed baby zucchini (about 6 ounces)
freshly ground black pepper
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh Italian parsley
1. Bring the broth and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to a boil in a medium saucepan; add quinoa. Cover, and reduce the heat to low, allowing it to simmer until the quinoa is tender and the broth is absorbed. This should take about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and fluff with a fork. Cover and reserve.
2. Meanwhile, bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a large nonstick skillet, over medium heat. Add beets. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the beets are tender. Uncover and cook until any water in skillet evaporates. Increase heat to medium-high. Add canola oil and garlic; and then sauté for 30 seconds. Add the bell peppers, asparagus, and zucchini. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Sauté for about 8 minutes, until just tender. Add cooked quinoa, green onions, and parsley to the vegetables in the skillet; toss to combine. Season with sea salt and pepper.
*Mix and match your favorite veggies. Consider adding red beets or sautéed diced sweet potatoes. Add an ounce of walnuts for crunch! Make enough to have leftovers (hot or cold) for the rest of the week.
Adapted from Epicurious
Rachel Froehlich is a Registered Dietitian at TheCoreDiet.com under the direction of elite coach Jesse Kropelnicki. She holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Nutrition, and is a marathoner and triathlete. TheCoreDiet is a sports nutrition specialty group working with athletes from age groupers to world class professionals. Visit their website TheCoreDiet.com to explore how they can help you meet your body composition, health, and performance goals.