Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa is another miraculous product. The year 2013  was officially declared as “The International Year of the Quinoa” by Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.

First, it is famous for having a high-protein content, which makes it a great cholesterol-free and low-fat source of protein. It can be said that Quinoa is a complete protein source if we look at its amino acid profile. However, the protein content in cooked Quinoa is less than 5%.

Secondly, Quinoa is being researched for its anti-diabetic qualities. Quinoa contains high levels of biologically active phytochemicals, which have been implicated in plant defence from insects. They have also shown a range of beneficial pharmacological effects in mammals. There was research conducted to find the best leaching process in order to effectively release concentrated bioactive phytochemicals from quinoa seeds. This was done to provide an efficient method to produce a food-grade mixture that may be useful for anti-diabetic applications.

Let’s hope the Quinoa we buy in the shops is not leached! Cooking in water is the most healthy way to prepare Quinoa. According to Dr.Fuhrman.com it prevents the formation of acrylamide, a potentially toxic compound formed with dry cooking.

Quinoa Pilaf is an ideal lunch meal, especially for those who take their own lunch to work. If Quinoa pilaf is transferred into sterilised dry containers immediately after cooking completes, they can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.


Quinoa Pilaf


2 cups quinoa
1 brown onion, diced
1 small fennel, diced
1 large capsicum, diced
2 small eggplants, diced
2 medium zucchinis, cut in chunks
10 button mushroom, halved
30 ml lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
60 ml light olive oil
3 g cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper


1. Cook quinoa in salted water as per instructions on the package.
2. Stir fry each vegetable in separate batches with seasoning and enough timing to your taste as you would have had it on its own. In the following order:
– Fennel (low heat, 7-10 minutes)
– Onion (high heat, 3-5 minutes)
– Zucchini (medium heat, 7-8 minutes)
– Capsicum (high heat, 5-7 minutes)
– Mushrooms and garlic (high, 2-3 minutes)
– Eggplant (medium heat, 7-10 minutes)
3. Clean the wok and use a little oil on low heat. Immediately combine all the cooked vegetables, lemon juice and cayenne pepper in the wok. Increase the heat, add quinoa, gently mix and just heat through.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    A delicious recipe, very tasty and healthy. It is perfect for lunch or dinner, and makes a very good vegetarian dish. I have enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


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