I had soaked quinoa my usual way; throwing some in a pot and covering the unwashed grain with water as I ran out the door one morning. I had no plans for what it would become; all I knew was that later I would want something nutritious and quick to eat. As things turned out, we had dinner plans that I had forgotten about and so the quinoa sat on the bench soaking overnight.
The next morning I washed and left the quinoa in a strainer to drain over the pot, put the lid on, and then rushed out the door again. Something else got in the way of dinner at home and so I rinsed the neglected quinoa one more time and left the grain overnight again.
By morning it had grown lovely little sprouts, and since I was planning once again to cook that evening I rinsed the quinoa for the final time and left it in the strainer. By afternoon the sprouts were quite long and the quinoa was light and fluffy. If day had been hot, the sprouted quinoa would have made a great base for a salad.
Since I only had basic vegetables at my fingertips, (some were frozen) I turned to the spice draw for inspiration, found my fragrant curry powder and decided on this pilaf.
The sprouted grains are much moister than regular quinoa so don’t expect a fluffy pilaf, instead the quinoa becomes moist, with an almost creamy texture. Don’t forget that being sprouted its vitamin content is boosted, fiber is increased and enzymes are activated making this super food more digestible.
I have spoken of the health benefits of quinoa in earlier posts, you can them here and here.
¾ cup quinoa
Filtered water to soak
Wash quinoa, strain and place in a pot. Cover with filtered water and soak overnight.
Strain and rinse. Leave quinoa in strainer and place over the pot to drain. Cover with a lid and let sit overnight again. Rinse again in the morning and leave covered until your ready to cook it. The quinoa sprouts will grow through the strainer. Cook or eat it raw.
Curried Sprouted quinoa pilaf
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 medium carrot, diced
4 inch piece leek, diced
½ cup sweet corn kernels
½ cup peas
¾ cup quinoa, sprouted
1 1/3 cups boiling water
2 cups baby spinach leaves
Almonds to garnish
Warm olive oil over medium high heat; add onions and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add garlic, ginger and salt and cook a few minutes more.
Stir in curry powder, carrot and leeks and cook until beginning to soften.
Add corn, peas, sprouted quinoa and boiling water. Stir and lower heat once mixture had come to a boil. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove lid, place spinach on top of pilaf, return lid and let sit 5 minutes.
Gently stir spinach leaves through.
Put a handful of almonds in a small skillet and place over low to medium heat for a minute or 2. Shake pan and leave for another minute.
Remove from pan and chop. Sprinkle over quinoa.
Serves 4 as a side.
Click here for printable recipe