This recipe for confetti quinoa has a distinctive nutty flavor from the tri-colored quinoa. The vibrant colors of carrots, red peppers, green onions and parsley adds the confetti look.
Quinoa is considered an ancient grain and was first cultivated more than 5,000 years ago. Quinoa was a staple food of the ancient civilizations of Andes of South America. It has gained a revival in recent years and is available in most United States markets, Europe and Canada. Quinoa can also be ordered online through Bob’s Red mill as well as other suppliers.
Quinoa has never been hybridized and it is not a true grain but a seed, although it is usually referred to as a grain and it is treated and cooked as a grain. This curious grain has many colors with white, red and black being the most accessible in our markets. Quinoa is high in nutrition with all eight of the essential amino acids making it a complete protein with eight grams of protein in a cup of cooked quinoa. Among quinoa’s many benefits is the fact that it is also gluten free which has added to its recent popularity. This wonder grain is so packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that it is not surprising that in 2013 the Food and Agriculture Organization declared it to be the international Year of Quinoa. Kris Gunnars at Nutrition Authority has a great info post on the health benefits of quinoa.
In our recipe for confetti quinoa we are using a tri-mix of the white, red and black grains. We added herbs, spices and vegetables that brings a terrific flavor as well as a vibrant color to the dish. Quinoa has a bitterness to the grain that requires an easy rinse-off in cold water. The grain is quick-cooking in just 10-15 minutes and this recipe is an ideal side dish for a change from pasta or potatoes. The chopped vegetables have maintained a little crunch as we add them after the quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes. The residual heat while the quinoa is resting maintains a perfect consistency to the vegetables.
An easy side dish of confetti quinoa that has a distinctive nutty flavor from the tri-colored quinoa. The vibrant colors of carrots, red peppers, green scallions and parsley give it a confetti look.
- 1 cup tri-colored quinoa, or 1/3 cup each of red, white and black quinoa
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped scallion tops
- 1/2 cup chopped curly leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
- Fresh parsley sprigs or chopped parsley for garnish
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cold water and allow to drain.
- In a medium saucepan over moderate heat, melt the butter and oil together, add the quinoa and stir for 2-3 minutes to toast the grains/seeds. Add the garlic, shallots, salt,pepper and cumin. Stir to combine and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the chicken stock, bring the pot to a boil, cover the pot and reduce the temperature to low. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off but leave the pan on the stove, and stir in the chopped carrots, red pepper, scallion tops, parsley and chopped almonds. Toss to combine, return the cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. To serve, transfer to a serving dish and garnish with parsley.
Courses Side Dish
Serving Size 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 9.3 g
Saturated Fat 2.04 g
Cholesterol 5.09 mg
Sodium 222 mg
Total Carbohydrates 24.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.18 g
Sugars 1.47 g
Protein 6.8 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.