The first time my husband had quinoa a few years ago it was at a quaint little restaurant in the fishing town of Leland in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. If you haven’t visited Northern Michigan do a Google search right now and start pinning all of the cool places you want to visit :). I grew up spending my summers “up North” as we call it “down state” (Southern Michigan), but didn’t realize how amazingly lucky we are in Michigan to have such beautiful waters, beaches, hills, and woods until I moved to Chicago which, besides the city is pretty much flat plains. Anyways, back to the food, it was a quinoa pilaf with mushrooms and my husband gobbled it up in a matter of minutes. At that moment I knew quinoa had to become a part of our diet. On top of the fact that it’s delicous, quinoa is rich in nutrients, is a complete protein, is gluten free (it’s actually related to beets and spinach, not wheat and grains) and recent studies are finding that it has a unique blend of pyhtonutrients that are anti-imflammatory. If you haven’t tried quinoa, this recipe will make you a believer! I modified this recipe from the Food Network . Here is my version of gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, egg free, yeast free, vegan Quinoa Pilaf with Mushrooms!
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Quinoa Pilaf with Mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced thinly (I like crimini but portabella and button work also)
1 ½ cups quinoa (rinsed well and drained)
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves, removed from stems
1 bay leaf
1 ½ tsp sea salt
3 cups gf beef stock or vegetable stock for vegan (if you’re yeast free be sure to use yeast free stock also, you’ll probably have to make your own. I had trouble finding it store bought)
I make my quinoa in a rice cooker – it’s perfect everytime! If you don’t have one I would recommend buying one – you can do so by clicking here –> Oster Rice Cooker. They’re completely worth the money and storage space! If you’re using a rice cooker you’ll need that and a skillet. If you’re not using a rice cooker you’ll need a skillet and a medium sauce pan.
First, put a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the shallots and mushrooms. Cook until the shallots are translucent and mushrooms are pretty well cooked. Dump in the quinoa to and let it toast, stirring occasionally. It should only take about a minute – you will start to see it browning and popping. You’ll also be able to smell it. It gives it a nuttier flavor (which is good! I actually was very concerned about it the first time I cooked it because it smelled so much like nuts, which I’m deathly allergic to!).
Dump the quinoa mixture into the rice cooker or sauce pan. Add the broth, salt, bay leaf, and thyme leaves. If using a rice cooker turn it on and relax! Ahhh – see, that’s why you need one J. If you’re using a sauce pan, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and let steam for about 15 minutes. Enjoy with some steamed vegetables or as my husband likes it, with a steak!
All of my recipes are gluten free, soy free, dairy free, and nut free, meaning that they are peanut free, cashew free, tree nut free, walnut free, pecan free, and almond free. They are also free of a lot of other grains and legumes because I’m intolerant to them, along with gluten. My recipes are amaranth free, barley free, chick pea free, buckwheat free, fava bean free, flax free, garbanzo free, oat free, rye free, sorghum free, spelt free, and teff free. If there are easy substitutions to make the recipe egg free I try to include them. My recipes are dairy free – I personally am intolerant to whey and therefore can eat butter. Most recipes can be made completely dairy free with a butter substitute. This recipe is egg free, yeast free and can also be made vegan! Feel free to leave any changes you’ve made in the comments for others to see!