Jumpin' on the Quinoa Wagon

I discovered quinoa about a year ago at this awesome place in Atlanta, Alon's. (which also had the world's best baba ganoush- which reminds me, I should make some) It's a really cool prepared food/bakery/market that I survived on while traveling there for six months. As a vegetarian (back then), quinoa was an awesome source of protein, and a good alternative to rices and pastas. Many of the quinoas I've had in the past had some kind of cooked vegetables in them, but the one at Alon's had all raw veggies with lots of spices for flavor. Now, I make my own version of this and have shared the recipe with my family, who has also fallen in love. You guys should try quinoa. So good for you. And super duper easy to make.

Curried Quinoa

1 cup quinoa (don't forget to rinse!!!)
2 cups water
2 medium size carrots (chopped)
3 stalks celery (with leaves, chopped)
3/4 cup dried cranberries, pomegranate or blueberries
1/4 red onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tbsp honey
1 lemon (juice)
1 tbsp curry power
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp ground red pepper
olive oil
salt and pepper

Combine quinoa and water in small pot and bring to a boil, uncovered. Once the water starts boiling, lower the heat and bring the water to a slow simmer and cover. Let the quinoa simmer for about 10-12 minutes. The water should be mostly absorbed and the quinoa light and fluffy. Let sit in the pot, off the heat, covered for 5 minutes and then fluff up with a fork. Easy enough, right? It's like making mac and cheese, minus the Yellow 5 and Yellow 6.

Add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the quinoa and mix. The quinoa should be nice and moist, so if it isn't add more olive oil to coat. Add the spices and lemon and mix until combined. Add the vegetables, garlic and cranberries last, and mix into quinoa. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.
This is a great vegetarian dish that I like to bring to work and warm up for lunch. It's good served with some crusty bread. For non-vegetarians, you could grill up some simple chicken with lemon and olive oil and it would be great with this.

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