Spring has officially arrived here in the southeast – I have been told by locals that this is the nicest time of year out here – the weather is mid to high 70s, it is still cooling off nicely in the evenings, flowers are blooming; life is good.
We have officially begun grilling season here at our house, which is possibly my favorite way to eat almost all types of meat and seafood, particularly salmon and shrimp. The other day, I threw together a quinoa-based side dish for some salmon steaks and shrimp skewers that Mr. Grillmaster (darling husband) was grilling for dinner. It turned out to be an excellent complement to the salmon, so I thought I would share it with you all. A note about quinoa – this is probably my current favorite grain – it is higher in protein then rice and has a more complex flavor, in my opinion. And as I have said before, variety is the key to a healthy diet, so I try to cook it once a month or so. Here is a website that explains quinoa much better then I just did. For this recipe, I used a combination of heirloom red and standard white quinoa, which improved the presentation, but use whatever type you can find
Quinoa & Swiss Chard Pilaf
4 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/2 bunch swiss chard, tough steams removed and sliced in threads
1 TBS coconut oil (or olive oil)
Saute together until mushrooms are soft
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions in homemade chicken stock (I use this recipe for chicken stock – easy and amazingly delicious!)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (I toast them in a toaster oven for about 5 minutes – watch them, they burn easily!)
2 green onions, sliced
Salt & Pepper, to taste (I didn’t add any, as my chicken stock was very full of flavor and I wanted that taste to come through, as opposed to salt!).
Serve alongside grilled salmon, chicken, other fish, shrimp (this served 2 – but Mr. Grillmaster and myself do have healthy appetites :)).
This recipe is so simple I almost hesitate to share it, but sometimes simple can be good! Hope everyone is enjoying some beautiful spring weather this week.