No matter how often I clean it out, it seems like our pantry – aka the cabinet in our kitchen that holds all our non-perishable food items - is always a mess of this and that: half-filled bags of various types of chocolate chips, multiple bottles of Worcestershire sauce and corn syrup (for some reason, I never remember that we already have these items), soy sauce, bouillon cubes, boxes of Stove Top stuffing (for stuffing emergencies!), an assortment of dried chiles, etc. But the overwhelming majority of the mess can be attributed to grains. White rice, brown rice, millet, farro, barley, wheat berries, and quinoa, can all be found in the jumble of Ziploc bags stashed away in our kitchen.
Currently, my favorite way to use these grains up is to freshen and brighten them up with herbs and citrus, which is why I love this quick and easy herbed quinoa recipe from Giada.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup + ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup finely chopped basil
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- Salt and pepper
- 2 ¾ cups chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups uncooked whole grain quinoa
I threw the olive oil, 1/3 cup of the lemon juice, the basil, parsley, thyme, and lemon zest in a bowl, mixed it together, seasoned it and set it aside to wait for the quinoa.
In a medium pot, I brought the chicken stock, the remaining ¼ cup lemon juice, and the quinoa to a boil over medium-high heat. I covered the pot, reduced the heat to low for a gentle simmer, and cooked until the grains had absorbed all the liquid, about 13-15 minutes. Then I mixed in the herb dressing until fully incorporated.
Done. Bright and delicious, healthy side dish, less cluttered cabinet.