Packed with texture and flavor, this super healthy pilaf boasts whole grains, legumes and antioxidants. A perfect addition to soups & salads or served just by itself, at any temperature.

difficulty level: beginner

equipment needed: you can use a large braiser, but any large non stick (ceramic) pot will do, even a 12" frying pan with lid will do a great job.

what you need:

  • 2 cups quinoa, you can wash and strain the quinoa, i skip this step as i do not mind the lightly bitter flavor that unwashed quinoa provides. if you are just a beginner to eating whole grains i recommend to wash.
  • 1/2 cup black rice; yes you can use any rice, but black rice contains health-promoting anthocyanin antioxidants, similar to those found in blackberries and blueberries, so why not get an antioxidant boost :)
  • 1/2 cup dry green lentils
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (not low sodium)
  • 2 golden(or red) beets peeled and cut into tiny little squares.
  • 1/2 large onion finely chopped.
  • 1 tbsp high heat cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt divided
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric -1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley chopped

what to do:

  • preheat pot/pan on medium high
  • add 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • add onions and saute until translucent and slightly browned, about 4 minutes
  • add beets and saute an additional 3 minutes
  • add 1/4 tsp salt to onions and beets and mix reduce heat to medium
  • add quinoa, lentils, and rice mix well
  • add cumin turmeric and additional 1/4 tsp salt
  • toast grains vegetables and spices for 3 minutes stirring around
  • add broth, stir well
  • increase heat to medium high and bring broth to a boil
  • once boiling, cover with lid and reduce heat to medium low (towards low)
  • let cook covered for 30 min
  • remove from heat
  • open lid, fluff up the pilaf mixing it around, cover with a dish towel (one you are not afraid to get dirty), close lid back up, pull edges of towel to tighten it under lid.
  • let sit 10 minutes; the towel trick helps any condensation get soaked up by the towel and produces a very fluffy pilaf.
  • remove lid and towel
  • add fresh parsley
  • add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and serve :)

this is a hearty dish served warm on a winter day, or a light addition to a sald served cold in summer