Lentils and Quinoa Pilaf

lentilsquinoa_pilafIf you’re looking for a new vegetarian option for a weekend meal, give this delicious and nutritious Lentil & Quinoa Pilaf a try. Traditional pilaf typically contains rice simmered in a seasoned broth. Some recipes also recommend toasted rice for extra flavor. This recipe is a spin off on the conventional pilaf by substituting lentils and quinoa for rice. Pulses, such as beans, lentils and peas, are an emerging food trend for 2016. Try adding pulses to your next meal with this tasty pilaf.

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
1 cup lentils
1 large head of cauliflower
3 tbsp. olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
½ tsp. paprika
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Zest of 1 medium orange
2 tbsp. lemon juice
3 large garlic cloves
½ cup dried apricots
1/3 cup slivered almonds

lentilsquinoa_ingredientsDirections:
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2) In a medium saucepan, combine one cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water and simmer on medium heat until boiling. Then reduce to simmer till fork tender (15-20 minutes).
3) In a medium saucepan, combine one cup of lentil with 3 cups of water and simmer on medium heat until boiling. Then reduce to simmer till fork tender (20-25 minutes).
4) Cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and roast in the oven for 20-22 minutes.
5) During last few minutes of roasting of the cauliflower, place almonds on a sheet pan to roast until fragrant.
6) In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant.
7) Add cauliflower, 2 cups of cooked quinoa, 1 cup of cooked lentils, chopped dried apricots, and sliver almonds. Then add the 1/4 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, ½ tsp. of paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
8) Sauté for 5-7 minutes and serve, garnish with orange zest and toasted almonds.

This is a complete meal with quinoa, lentils, veggies, and even some fruit!

Nikki Kuhlmann is currently a senior at South Dakota State University majoring in dietetics and minoring in biology.  Nikki plans to graduate this spring and hopes to land a dietetic internship in North Carolina, which she plans to make her permanent home. Kelsey Johnson is a Junior at South Dakota State University majoring in Dietetics & Pre-Medicine with a minor in Health Education. She plans to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist then go on to Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine School. 

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