We’re living in a time in which many people are gluten intolerant, vegetarian, or simply trying to eat better. Many of my clients who either have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant found quinoa, a delicious gluten-free grain, to be a new favorite. Whether you’re a fan of vegetarian dishes, or you have gluten intolerance, this recipe will definitely win your heart. It’s high in protein, fiber, and best of all great taste.
The amount of ginger in this recipe may be too much for you and you may simply decrease it based on your preferences. I use ginger in a large number of my dishes, for the taste, aroma, and myriad of health benefits, too. Anyone who skims through my book, Sunnah Superfoods, will recognize how frequently I talk about ginger. From aiding in coughs to preventing and curing nausea, ginger is simply remarkable. It’s mentioned in both the Qur’an and sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Ginger helps you digest food better and I find it perfect for this recipe since many people are sensitive to digesting quinoa. Another trick is to soak your quinoa and black beans for better digestion. Both of them contain phytic acid and many of my clients attest to this recommendation helping them completely. All you need to do is place them in a bowl overnight, covered in water. Simply drain the water (be sure not to use that water for cooking!) and cook as requested in the recipe.
Whether you are trying to eat more protein to make worth of your workouts, or you are gluten intolerant, quinoa is definitely a grain I advise you to include in your diet. Quinoa is high in iron, fiber, protein, magnesium, and many other minerals. If you have gluten intolerance, try eating more quinoa instead of white rice and high starch carboy dates. Also, this dish is great for those trying to limit their consumption of meat. If you’d like an ever greater boost of protein, add chunks of cooked chicken or ground lamb before layering the green onions and cashews. If you decide to add meat, I’d recommend you halve or decrease the black beans. The extra virgin olive oil adds a ton of healthy fats, cardiovascular health benefits, cognitive health benefits, and wonderful taste. Healthy fats like olive oil aid in balancing your blood sugar spike, especially if you are eating grains. If you are a big fan of white rice, eat it with olive oil too, at least, decrease your blood sugar spike. The freshly squeezed lemon juice adds vitamin C, digestive aid, and a nice tarty taste. Try this recipe, and feel free to substitute any of the vegetables to your preference. This recipe is the best combination of soft grains, crunchy nuts, and a perfect touch of health boosting olive oil.
Noor’s Ginger Nut Quinoa Pilaf
2 cups white quinoa, rinsed
5 cups water
1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
2 tablespoons turmeric, ground
1 ½ cups black beans, soaked overnight
3 carrots, finely chopped
1 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil
1 cup green onions, chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 ½ tablespoons Himalayan Pink Salt
2 tablespoons dried mint
Place the quinoa, salt, turmeric, and water in a medium cooking pot–cover and cook on high-heat for about 15 minutes
Meanwhile, steam the beans and carrots for about 7 minutes, or until tender
In a small skillet, place the cashews and coconut oil and cook on high heat, stirring frequently (to avoid burning) until browned
Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small mixing bowl
Place quinoa, vegetables, and dressing in a large mixing bowl, toss well
Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with green onions and cashews
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, Sunnah Superfoods, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.