Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Quinoa Roasted-Pumpkin Pilaf

I have been an exceptionally BAD blogger, nose-diving, crashing and burning right out of "Vegan Month Of Food Blogging" and going into hibernation all through October. (Maybe turning 50 was more exhausting than I thought!)
At any rate, I'm back (said in my best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression) and have a nice little collection of ideas and recipes and reviews to share.

Photo courtesy of Lui Kit Wong
and the Tacoma News Tribune
First off, I have a fabulously yummy, Thanksgiving-type recipe that recently made me famous.

NOT "famous-famous"....
In fact, not at all.
But it WAS published in our local newspaper!
In the the turkey-ridden THANKSGIVING Food issue, no less.
With beautiful pictures.
So it was still pretty exciting for lil' old me!
And, lucky for you, it's actually a recipe I'd never blogged, so I decided I'd share it with you, today, the same day it was published in the Tacoma News Tribune!!

Photo courtesy of Lui Kit Wong
and the Tacoma News Tribune
I used to make this pilaf-type-thing with a boxed white-and-wild-rice blend, but in the past few years, I changed it up with quinoa instead.
It's a great alternative to stuffing (or make it in addition); it'll make the vegans AND non-vegans happy, and it's filled with colorful, trendy ingredients like roasted pumpkin, pistachios and sparkling red pomegranate seeds (which are actually called arils!).


Quinoa and Roasted-Pumpkin Pilaf

  • 1 small sugar/"pie" pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Navel orange
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or butter, but I'm vegan so I use coconut oil)
  • 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated onion powder
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pistachios
  • salt and fresh-cracked pepper
  • pomegranate arils from 1 pomegranate
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Cooked Quinoa, (cooked with instructions below):

  • 1 cup uncooked "white" or plain quinoa
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water

In a strainer, rinse quinoa well. Drain. Now combine the quinoa with water and salt and bring to a boil uncovered. When it starts to boil, cover and simmer or the lowest heat you can get and still have the water barely bubbling) 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy.

To prepare pilaf:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut pumpkin into quarters. Remove seeds and cut off peel.
Cut pumpkin flesh into 1 inch cubes or slightly smaller.
Whisk olive oil, first 2 Tbsp maple syrup and a pinch salt and pepper.
Toss mixture with pumpkin cubes and spread on a greased baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to brown but not mushy-falling apart.

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa.
Juice the orange and zest about 1/2 of the orange. Whisk them with second 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, melted coconut oil (or butter), onion powder and sage.
When pumpkin and quinoa are cooked, gently toss quinoa with the roasted pumpkin cubes and orange juice-maple syrup.(Only add enough orange juice-maple mixture to moisten, NOT make it mushy/soupy!)
Stir in cranberries, apricots and nuts.
Taste and season with salt and pepper as you want.
Garnish by sprinkling with the pomegranate arils and parsley right before serving..
Serve warm.


Bianca said...

Yay!! Glad to see you back in action. Happy birthday! (I would have NEVER guessed you were 50! You look much younger!).

Congrats on getting a vegan recipe published in a mainstream paper. Vegan world domination!