Recipe A Day #8: Easy Lemon-Lime Quinoa

This recipe was inspired yet again by a recipe in Rebecca Katz's latest book, The Healthy Mind Cookbook, and quite honestly it's been amazing to see the enormous value I'm getting out of her latest cookbook all throughout this new-recipe-a-day trial. All I've done with today's recipe is simplify it a bit and adjust the ingredients slightly, and the result is an even easier recipe that's even more laughably cheap. If you'd like to see Rebecca's original version, check out page 142 for Dolled-Up Quinoa.

A quick note on quinoa for those cooks who might be unfamiliar with this grain: basically, you cook quinoa the same way you cook rice. It requires about the same ratio of water to grains (just about 2:1) and the same cooking time. You can even prepare quinoa in your rice cooker if you have one!

Easy Lemon-Lime Quinoa

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 cup quinoa
1 ¾ cups water, plus one bouillion cube (or 1 ¾ cups stock)

2-3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
about 1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lime juice
salt and black pepper, to taste

1) Saute onion for 2-3 minutes in olive oil in a large pan. Add ginger and saute for another 2 minutes. Add quinoa and water/stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is done, about 15-18 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes.

2) Add parsley, lemon zest and juices to quinoa, stir and combine well. Serve immediately.

Serves 2-3. Can be easily doubled.

Recipe Notes:
1) Obviously, this recipe audibly cries out for variations. Rebecca Katz's original version included orange juice and lemon juice, shallots, saffron, and a garnishing of toasted slivered almonds. CK's version is quite a bit simpler and significantly less expensive. However, you could easily make a spicy version (cayenne and/or tabasco in place of--or in addition too!--ginger), a protein-heavy version (add a drained can of white, red or black beans or extra firm tofu at the end), or even a meat-based version (add sausage, pieces of cooked chicken or pork). Certainly you could play with the greens (say, substitute cilantro for parsley), or add a cruciferous green (like kale, swiss chard or collard greens) to this recipe to cook along with the quinoa. Readers, what else can you come up with?

2) Another suggestion: make extra. Make a double (or triple!) batch and you've got a few day's worth of easy, microwaveable lunches or dinners that you can literally prepare in seconds. As we often say here at CK: there's no easier way to get a home-cooked dinner on the table than to heat up something you've already made. Why not solve for dinner tomorrow or lunch for the next few days... while you make dinner tonight?

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