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Quinoa Pilaf

gluten free
wheat free
2 spoon difficulty rating

20-30 minutes

Serves: 4

Quinoa Pilaf

Not only is quinoa high in protein, it is also a good source of iron – higher than spinach or other green leafy vegetables. All in all, it is a fantastically versatile wholegrain. Our recipe is a great basic – try adding mushrooms (fresh or dried porcini); garlic or mangetout – in fact, just about any vegetables you like that will cook in the time. Experiment with other fresh herbs too – parsley, coriander, marjoram and chervil all work well. For a more Central American flavour, omit the oregano and use the cumin. It also lends itself well to many of our sauce recipes.

NB You can also dry-roast the quinoa first to bring out its nutty flavour – it takes just 2-3 minutes in a frying pan, stirring constantly to prevent burning. However, the stock will help to add more flavour if you don’t have time to do this!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 180g/6 oz quinoa, rinsed thoroughly through a fine sieve )
  • 450ml/16floz strong vegetable stock (home-made or using 2½ tsp Marigold bouillon in the red tub)
  • 100g/3oz of baby broad beans OR peas (frozen work well)
  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano OR 1 heaped tsp cumin powder
  • 1 medium carrot, grated on the big holes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (but remember the stock will be quite salty)
  • Optional: substitute some of the stock with a tablespoon or two of dry white wine or sherry. The alcohol burns off so you won’t feel its effect, but it does taste good!


1. Dry roast quinoa first if you want. Stir constantly in a large, preferably non-stick frying pan for 2-3 minutes, making sure the grains don’t catch and burn. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in the frying pan. Add onion and cook until soft – 3-5 minutes.

3. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two, making sure it doesn’t burn. Add the quinoa, stock, (with wine if using), peas or broad beans and oregano/cumin. 

4. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed – if too wet, remove lid and boil fast until it has reduced.

5.  A minute or two before the end, add the grated carrot and cook in.  Season, then serve.

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