Persian Quinoa Pilaf

It’s well worth including the increasingly popular quinoa in your gluten-free repertoire. It’s a nutritious substitute for wheat-based grains such as couscous or bulgur.

From The Weigh It Up Winter Warmers Recipe Book, released next week at independent newsagents nationally; online at and Chemist Warehouse nationally, RRP $8.95.

Serves: 2 as a main course or 4 as a side dish

Prep: 5 mins

Cooking: 50 mins


oil spray

2 red onions, halved, thinly sliced into half rings

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp each ground cumin, coriander and ginger

1/4–1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

11/2 cups vegetable stock

300g packet Rainbow Salad (available from Woolworths and Safeway)

1 cup frozen peas

30g cashews, roasted, roughly chopped

1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

1/4 cup chopped coriander


Heat a non-stick saucepan sprayed with oil over medium heat. Add onions, spray generously with oil and cook, stirring often, for 5–8 minutes or until softened and starting to caramelise. Add spices and garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add quinoa and stock and bring to boil. Reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir through Rainbow Salad and peas and cook for a further 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cashews and herbs to serve.

What’s your favourite vegetarian recipe?