Sunday, January 3, 2010

Red Quinoa and Corn Pilaf

Happy New Year, everyone! With the new year comes an end to holiday indulgence and a re-focusing on healthy eating. And what is healthy eating without a little bacon? Heh. I think this recipe really encapsulates my outlook on food. Simple technique, fun flavour combination, healthy whole grain, and using delicious but higher-calorie touches as flavour rather than a main ingredient.

If you haven't tried quinoa yet, do. It is one of the most ancient whole grains, and contains the most protein, not to mention a TON of nutrients. It's pretty widely available these days; I get mine in the bulk section of the local grocery store. I've been using the white variety for a while now, but am new to the red. It's nuttier and more earthy-tasting than its more delicate white counterpart, and has more of a bite.Either one would work in this pilaf, though the red does pair nicely with the smokiness from the bacon.

Red Quinoa and Corn Pilaf

1 C red quinoa, rinsed
2 C homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 slices smoky thick-cut bacon
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 can corn or 1 ear fresh corn cut off the cob, if in season, which it's not
freshly cracked pepper

Bring stock to boil and add the quinoa and thyme, cover and lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until all the liquid has absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

Meanwhile, chop the bacon into small peices and cook off in a pan to render off the fat. When it is browned and nearly crisp, remove to a paper towel-lined plate and drain and discard fat from the pan. In the same pan (do not wash), add chopped onion and saute until translucent and lightly browned. Add the rendered bacon back in, as well as the corn and some pepper. When the quinoa is fully cooked, add the bacon/ corn mixture and toss together. Done!

Serves 4 as a hearty side dish.

Nutritional Values: 203 calories, 4.5g fat, 9.3g protein, 32g carbs, 3.8g fibre, 400mg sodium.


  1. I just gotta say....
    red quinoa kicks the butt of rice.

    eat quinoa.

    don't be shy.

  2. LOL, it's true! Yay for keeeeenwah!