Bon Appétit (January 2013)
Are we on a diet? Are you?
'Tis the season, we guess -- New Year's resolutions are still ringing in everyone's ears. We're not band-waggoners, but the truth is, yes, we are on a diet of sorts. It's not an OMG-let's-only-eat-cayenne-pepper-and-maple-syrup-for-a-month sort of endeavor. It's more just been two weeks at the beginning of the year of "let's eat right and eat more at home."
We're eating a lot of protein and vegetables, packing lunch for work, no alcohol for Clay/less alcohol for Zach, less carbs, and just bringing an overall sanity to our diet.
(Spoiler alert: These two weeks of clean living are about to be wrecked because we're heading to California later this week for what will no doubt be a mad dash of stuffing food in our faces every chance we get.)
Bon Appetit has the same idea (the sanity, not the mad dash, though we suspect they'd be supportive of that, too). Here at the beginning of the year, as they've done before, the magazine is featuring the "Food Lover's Cleanse," two weeks of lighter but satisfying fare.
We're not doing the Cleanse, but we did happen to make one of the dishes from the January issue, Red Quinoa with Pistachios.
We included a quinoa recipe among our Favorite Food Magazine Recipes of 2012. That dish -- Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Edamame and Radish -- was a straightforward salad, excellent for the start of a meal, or to be served as a cold side dish.
This Red Quinoa, in comparison, is meant to be served warm or at room temperature. We'd cook it in place of rice or a potato side. With this recipe, there isn't a lot of cooking to be done. The quinoa is made very similar to rice, with some browned shallots included for flavor. Once it's simmered for a half hour, parsley, pistachios and mint are added for flavor.
We did have a sourcing issue. Despite visiting three stores, including a Whole Foods and an organic market, we couldn't find unsalted, raw pistachios. Instead, we used unsalted, roasted pistachios.
This Red Quinoa with Pistachios is excellent, a truly knock-out side dish. It's flavorful, thanks to the shallots, stock and herbs, and the pistachios are a nice bit of crunch.
If this is diet food, sign us up.
Notes from Zach and Clay of The Bitten Word:
Despite visiting three stores, including a Whole Foods and an organic market, we couldn't find unsalted, raw pistaschios. Instead, we used unsalted, roasted pistashios.
White quinoa can be substituted for red - not the instruction for changing the cooking time.
Ingredients1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup quinoa, preferably red, rinsed well in a fine-mesh sieve
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/4 cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add quinoa and cook, stirring frequently, until quinoa starts to toast and smell nutty, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until quinoa is tender, 25-30 minutes (15 if using white quinoa). Remove pan from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork. Cover; let stand for 5 minutes.
Fold pistachios, parsley, and mint into quinoa. Season with salt and pepper.