I like making coconut rice to accompany my Indian curries, but just recently I tried it with quinoa instead for a protein packed whole foods option, and you know what? it was really good! I added in pomegranate arils and chopped fresh cilantro because it was the perfect flavor pairing for the dishes I was making, but you could always leave it plain.
Part of the beauty of fall is slow cooking: picture veggies roasting in the oven redolent with spices while a pot of coconut quinoa simmers away with a nutty aroma on the stove. This creamy/spicy combination is paired with sweet/sour bursts of flavor from the pomegranates, and makes a most satisfying meal .
When you add the can of coconut milk to the quinoa, just break up the clumps of coconut cream a bit, but don’t worry about mixing it in because it will work itself out once it comes to a boil.
Once all the liquid is absorbed, the quinoa will be quite fluffy, and it’s time to season it to taste with sea salt.
For the pomegranates, you’ll want to check out my Pomegranates 101 post where I show you a super easy method to de-seed a pomegranate.
Finally, mix in the chopped fresh cilantro and pomegranate arils, and then you’re ready to go.
While I definitely made this as a side dish to go with my Persian Roasted Veggies, I ate several bowlfuls of it on it’s own for lunch, and it’s really good that way too.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 can coconut milk, 13.5 ounces
- 1 cup water
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon Grade A amber maple syrup
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- If your quinoa isn't pre-rinsed be sure to rinse it before starting.
- Place the quinoa, coconut milk, water, sea salt, and maple syrup into a large saucepan or small pot. Using a spatula, break up the chunks of coconut cream a bit, but don't worry about mixing it all the way in.
- Place the pan over high heat and bring it to a boil, cover and immediately lower the heat to low after the quinoa comes to a boil. Simmer on low until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid and is light and fluffy, about 15 - 20 minutes.
- Season to taste with additional sea salt and mix in the optional toppings if desired.
- Serve immediately.
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