Curried Quinoa with Pistachios and Dried Cranberries

by Anne Bennett on July 7, 2013

CURRIED QUINOA

Quinoa has become quite the fashionable grain, and rightly so. Not only is it nutritious — quinoa is the only grain that is a complete protein akin to meat — it is also highly adaptable to different seasonings and ethnic variations.

Once again, I offer a recipe from Weight Watchers. I’ve said it before and I feel compelled to say it again — Weight Watchers has squirreled away some skilled recipe developers whose focus is on less meat and more veggies, fruits and whole grains. Hmmm. Sounds Mediterranean and not “diet” to me.

More important, though, is that the recipes I’ve tried have been delicious, with plenty of flavor to go around, and that’s essentially what makes for eating enjoyment and satisfaction. The following recipe is a keen example –it is seasoned with curry powder and cinnamon and topped with sweet/tart dried cranberries and crunchy chopped pistachios.

While this quinoa is served hot, I’ve enjoyed the leftovers just as much as a salad the next day. Store it in the fridge overnight and let it sit out for awhile to reach room temperature before serving. That way the flavors will have time to bloom. This makes enough to serve 6 people generously. If you’ve got a smaller crowd, by all means half the recipe.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. slender green beans, trimmed and halved
2 tsp. olive oil
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
Finely grated zest & juice of one large lemon

Combine quinoa, broth, curry powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Heat 1″ of water in a nonstick skillet, add green beans and cook about 5 minutes, until just tender but still slightly crisp. Drain and hold under running cold water to stop cooking, Drain again and transfer to serving bowl.

Wipe skillet dry. Heat oil in skillet and add celery and onion. Sauté until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add to green beans along with quinoa and remaining ingredients, mix together and serve.

Serves 6
WW PP per serving (about one cup): 6

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