There’s only one word for this side dish: POTENTIAL. It’s a side, but it moonlights as a main. It’s complete as is but it’s also a blank canvas to add literally WHATEVER protein you want and it stands it’s ground on any dinner plate. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, this is a staple in my house and I know it will be in yours as soon as you taste this business. And it’s FAST. Start to finish in less than 30 min. This stuff can come to your weeknight dinner rescue. You know who loves this stuff? Kids. I mean they crush it. My two year old just bangs his fork on the table like a barbarian and says “MO’ KEEWAH PEEZ!” He says, “please” so I don’t freak out too much but seriously. I do have to confirm that this is in fact, NOT Sparta and we do have manners. All that goes out the window in this case though because, quinoa. Now, I have had some lame quinoa in my life. That’s unfortunate because it can be. So. Good. You just have to know how to light it up and let it shine. Here’s one of my favorite ways.
Make a standard serving of quinoa per the package directions. I’ve used all kids of quinoa for this. It’s prettiest with the tri-color stuff but the flavor really isn’t that much different to me personally between the varieties. Pick your favorite and go. Pro tip: Use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water. Because flavor. You’re welcome.
While that’s working, let’s toast some pine nuts. This is easy, but you have to pay attention. Put the nuts in a skillet and over medium heat, let them toast and give them a shake every minute or two. The oil from the nuts will come to the surface and that oil will then heat against the pan. The result is GLORIOUS and smells unbelievable. You have to be VERY CAREFUL not to burn the nuts. As the oil heats, you have to shake the pan more frequently and really watch. Your nose will tell you when they’re perfect. Lightly brown all over and smelling deliciously toasty. Ok, pull them off and put them on a plate.
Now in the same pan you just used, let’s show some love to your olive oil. Mince the garlic and add it to the oil in your pan. Throw the raisins in there, too. Now you’re going to fry the garlic until it’s JUST browning. The raisins will plump back up into grapes – it’s weird the first time you see it but hang with me. As soon as your garlis is starting to brown, pull the pan off the heat and add 3 drops Young Living Lemon Vitality Essential Oil. At this point, just stop and take a deep breath because your kitchen smells amazeballs.
Your quinoa should be done by now so let’s put it all together. Dump your quinoa into a big serving bowl and mix in the infused olive oil and the pine nuts. Garnish it will a little shopped parsley and prepare yourself for the flavor firework about to go off in your mouth. Serve this hot mess all on it’s own for a killer main, or alongside my Lip Smackin’ Lamb Chops or Fork You Fillet Mignon for an amazing side. It’s gluten free and vegan if you used veggie broth in the quinoa. And it tastes good. Actually it tastes great.