Thursday, December 19, 2013

Turmeric Quinoa Pilaf

I'm not normally a New Year's resolution maker, but this year, I decided to go ahead and make one. And, since there's no time like the present, I'm jumping right in, even if the calendar still says it's December.

My resolution is to use turmeric in my cooking every day of the week. Sound extreme? I think not. Here's why.

There is a lot of research being done on the components of turmeric, and the results are pretty darned impressive. Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric is being looked at as a potential treatment for an array of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, allergies, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and other chronic diseases. Pretty impressive, right?

All this in a bright orange powder you can buy at your local market for a ridiculously low price. While it's been used to treat all kinds of ailments for literally thousands of years in Eastern medicine, turmeric is just now catching on in the West. Because turmeric is a natural botanical compound, it can't be patented, making it freely available and super affordable for anyone who wants it.

For a more in-depth look at how and why turmeric is so important in maintaining good health, check out this post on

And now, on to the recipe! I decided to give this dish a triple whammy - turmeric, quinoa and fresh organic vegetables. Come on! What's not to love here? I've written about my fondness for quinoa before, and the love affair definitely continues. Be on the lookout in the months ahead for many more recipes featuring my favorite non-grain. For this recipe, use organic ingredients whenever available.

      Turmeric Quinoa Pilaf

     1 cup organic quinoa
     2 cups filtered (or spring) water
     3 tablespoons grape seed oil
     1 large onion
     1 red bell pepper
     1/2 lb broccoli florets
     1/4 lb green beans
     1/4 lb snow peas
     2 large carrots
     1 tablespoon turmeric
     sea salt to taste

Rinse the quinoa under cool running water. Combine the quinoa and spring water in a covered pot, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat until all of the water is absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking, wash, drain and chop the vegetables. 

When the quinoa is done, remove it from heat and set it aside. Pour the grapeseed oil into a large frying pan or wok and add the onions. Stir fry until wilted, then add the rest of the vegetables. When the broccoli turns bright green, add the cooked quinoa, turmeric and salt. 

Keep stirring until the turmeric is evenly distributed through the quinoa. You'll see the quinoa transform from a bland beige color to a bright orange. That's when you know it's done! You can serve this dish hot or cold. Believe it or not, it also makes a great breakfast!

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