Quinoa & Lentil Pilaf

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We’ve embarked…finally… on updating our kitchen.  Actually, we’re working on our entire condo.  Trying to sell it eventually (know anyone who’s interested in a condo??).  So first thing that needed a major face lift was the kitchen.  Dull and old brown cabinets that had some kind of film on them that was sticky and resisted even the most toxic smelling cleaner.  And counter tops that are old and stained with god only knows what!

quinoa, lentils, pilaf, side dish recipes, vegetarian side dish

quinoa, lentils, pilaf, side dish recipes, vegetarian side dish My husband and father-in-law ripped apart and disassembled the cabinets, sanded them down and painted them a bright, clean white!  Just that alone makes a major difference!  Part of the cabinet painting process included taking out all of the food, dishes, pots, pans, cooking utensils, etc…I definitely have A LOT of stuff.

quinoa, lentils, pilaf, side dish recipes, vegetarian side dish

quinoa, lentils, pilaf, side dish recipes, vegetarian side dish It was actually a good opportunity to clean out the dark corners of the pantry and even get reacquainted with some of my old dishes and whatnot.  According to my husband, I have way too much cooking junk.  Which may or may not be true… but I do a lot of cooking and thus I need all of my cooking “stuff.”  Really, I do.

quinoa, lentils, pilaf, side dish recipes, vegetarian side dish

quinoa, lentils, pilaf, side dish recipes, vegetarian side dish So in an effort to clean out and use up some of my pantry staples (I had two huge bags of quinoa somehow), this dish came along.  I cooked up a bunch of quinoa and lentils and made quite the delicious pilaf.  I love that this is protein and fiber packed – the combo of lentils and quinoa can actually make a perfectly good main dish as well.

quinoa, lentils, pilaf, side dish recipes, vegetarian side dish

quinoa, lentils, pilaf, side dish recipes, vegetarian side dish The toasted hazelnuts add a nice crunch and I really, really like the little sweet and tart bites from the dried cranberries.  Actually I’m just a fan of hitting every flavor and texture in one dish – and this one definitely gets them all!

Quinoa & Lentil Pilaf:
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 pepper
  • 2 cups beluga lentils, cooked
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 3-4 scallions, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium heat.  Add in onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until translucent.  Add in garlic and sauté for another minute.
  2. Add in quinoa and 2 cups water.  Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fully cooked.
  3. Mix together the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients.  Toss to combine and taste for seasonings.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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