Quinoa with Pine Nuts & Kalamata Olives

July 31, 2009 at 2:11 pm 11 comments

Quinoa with Pine Nuts and Kalamata Olives

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is one of my favorite foods. It’s so versatile and yummy…and it also has all of the essential amino acids our bodies need, which means it’s naturally a “complete protein”.Β  And let me tell you….this recipe I am about to share will knock your socks off. I LOVE IT. I can’t get enough. Oh my. It’s so easy and can be used as the main dish or as a side dish. It’s also makes great leftovers…warmed up, eaten cold, or you could even top your salad with it!

I love the flavor combination involved…the strength of the olives offset by the creamy goodness of the avocado. Mmmmmm mmmmmm. πŸ™‚ The pine nuts give it just the right amount of crunch and the fresh herbs and lemon juice keep it tasting light and delicious. I chose to add some organic goat cheese to ours and it was perfect! You could also add some big chunks of artichoke hearts, I think they would work nicely as well. A tip…get the highest quality kalamata olives you can find, it’s worth it.

I’m always amazed when people tell me they’ve never tried quinoa. And to that I say: “You’ve never felt the quinoa LOVE?? That’s nonsense”. So for those of you who are clueless when it comes to quinoa, this is a great dish to start with. Let me know what you think!

Quinoa with Pine Nuts & Kalamata Olives
Sunflower Market Recipes (I grabbed this one off of their recipe stand in Boulder, CO)

2 cups quinoa
1 cup pine nuts
1/2 cut pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups veggie broth
1/2 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro (double this if you’re my mom, the “International Ambassador of Cilantro)
2 avocados, diced
2 lemons
Sea salt & ground black pepper

Bring veggie broth to a boil and add quinoa. Cover with a tight lid and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until it fluffs nicely with a fork. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add pine nuts, shallots, and garlic. Saute util golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Add the sauteed pine nuts, shallots, parsley, cilantro, and avocados. Add the juice of the 2 lemons for dressing. Sea salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t add any more salt because it was already quite salty from the olives and veggie broth…but do what you want!).



Entry filed under: Entree, Quinoa, Vegan.

Chia on the Road – A Happy Foody Video! Q & A with Sara

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Josie  |  July 31, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Awesome quinoa recipe! I am always looking for more things to do with this yummy grain. We’ll be making this tonight along with kale pesto stuffed mushrooms πŸ™‚

  • 2. Jeff Shattuck  |  July 31, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    This one looks like fun, I look forward to trying it out and feeling the love!

  • 3. Melissa  |  August 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Hey Sara!
    We bought some quinoa a year or so ago, but have yet to try it … *GASP*! Any clue how this recipe would taste raw? How different is the taste between cooked quinoa and soaked/sprouted quinoa? Suppose I could just try it myself, eh? lol

  • 4. livelightly  |  August 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Hi Melissa…
    It would be great! Just use scallions instead of shallots and sprout your quinoa instead of cooking it. Great idea!

  • 5. livelightly  |  August 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Oh sorry, didn’t see your question. Sprouted quinoa is just a bit more “chewy” and fresh tasting. Good though!

  • 6. AC in SC  |  August 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    So, kale might not be my thing, but quinoa is! We had this last night with dinner and it was WONDERFUL! The pine nuts give you a nice crunch, the lemon juice keeps the avocado from browning and the olives and cheese (we added feta) gives it that extra saltiness that I personally love. My husband went back for seconds (and that never happens). Thanks for sharing – hope you have more quinoa recipes up your sleeve!

  • 7. Eating Raw Foods Info  |  August 4, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    The recipe sounds good. I have not used quinoa in grain form, I have only had it as a pasta.

    Thanks for sharing it!

  • 8. Menden @ Skinny Menny  |  August 5, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Hi! I recently found your blog and tried this recipe (with a few variations) tonight for dinner…and it was delicious! Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • 9. Tiffany  |  August 7, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Made it for dinner last night – amazing! Thank you for broadening my culinary horizon!

  • 10. Tiffany  |  August 7, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Oops – I meant to ask…do you happen to have the nutritional info for this recipe? Thanks!

  • 11. organique gal  |  August 9, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    So happy to see a quinoa recipe. I’m about to launch on a very restrictive diet, and quinoa is one of my only allowed grains. So… if one hated olives and wasn’t allowed to have lemon juice (or vinegar) what would one substitute in this recipe?


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