Some days the Foodie wheels in your brain are cranking in over-drive, inspiring dishes like Garlic and Pine Nut Bean Dip or S'More Bar Cookies. These are the days you can wait for leftover lunches the next day, and you delight in e-mailing the recipe to everyone you know. Culinary success! Move over Ina Garten: There's a new girl in town.
Sometimes, however, dry toast represents the outer limits of your creativity for the day. Where is the inspiration?! Why aren't the cookbooks talking to me?! Somebody phone Julia Childs and send HELP!
Over-dramatic, I know. But the key point remains: In the creativity department, today was a dry toast kind of day.
Today's recipe is a deliciously vegetarian pilaf, made from a combo of both bulgur and quinoa (we didn't have enough of each grain alone, so we just combined everything we had of each). Although the pilaf is truly scrumptious, I merely wanted to warn you that it reminds me of a combination of all the other grain salads and pilafs I've posted before. Delicious recipe, but lacking in the thrilling "Wow! This is new and completely different!" factor.
Regardless, it's healthy, crunchy, veggie-ful, and quite tasty. If you use veggie broth, it's also completely vegan. I enjoyed my pilaf simply as the recipe stated, no add-ins necessary.
So, may we raise our glasses to an evening of healthy, delicious food, and a mind utterly lacking in recipe originality. Looks like Ina Garten doesn't have anything to worry about after all :)
Quinoa n' Bulgur Pilaf with Nuts, Fruit, and Veggies
(Adapted from a recipe in Clean Eating Magazine)
The original recipe actually calls for a grain called "Farro." Although I was super excited to try it, I was disappointed to find that they don't sell it in our town! Perhaps on our next road trip to Pittsburgh we'll be able to pick some up. If you have Farro on hand though, by all means try it with this recipe!
- 4 cups of veggie broth or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup of red quinoa
- 1 cup of bulgur
- 3/4 cup of chopped, toasted almonds or pine nuts
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
1) Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add bulgur and quinoa, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until grains are fully cooked. Pour grains into a strainer, reserving extra liquid in a bowl.
2) While grains are cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrot, bell pepper, and celery, and saute until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, cranberries, apricots, salt, and pepper. Saute for 2 more minutes.
3) Add veggie mixture, nuts, and 2/3 cup of reserved broth to the grains. Stir to combine. Allow to sit, covered for about 10 minutes to ensure that all liquid is absorbed.