Lemony Quinoa with Pine Nuts & Spinach
Quinoa is the only plant-based food that has all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. In addition to being gluten-free, quinoa is high in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E. Spinach, parsley, and anti-inflammatory spices enhance the nutritional benefits of this dish, and the lemony dressing seals in the delicious combinations of flavors. This is my go-to way to serve quinoa as it’s easy to make, plus it tastes amazing!
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water (or use 1 cup vegetable broth and 1 cup water for additional flavor)
2-3 teaspoons fresh turmeric (*optional)
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 cups raw spinach, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
*Add one teaspoon of dried turmeric to the cooked quinoa prior to mixing with the other ingredients as an alternative to the optional fresh turmeric. (Choose one or the other.)
Add golden raisins and/or garbanzo beans.
In a small pot, add quinoa, water and salt. If using the optional fresh turmeric, add that into the water. Bring to a boil, cover and then simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. While the quinoa is cooking, slice the spinach & parsley, toast the pine nuts and grate the lemon zest. Let the quinoa sit covered for an additional 5 minutes before removing the lid. Allow the quinoa to cool slightly (at least 20 minutes) before transferring to a serving bowl with toasted pine nuts, lemon zest and parsley. Place the sliced, raw spinach on top of the quinoa mixture. Add in the garbanzo beans and golden raisins if using.
In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Slowly add in olive oil to form an emulsion. Pour the dressing to the top of the quinoa bowl making certain to moisten all the ingredients. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Serve this nourishing and delicious dish slightly warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!