Pepita-Quinoa Pilaf

(Serves 6) 

1 ½ cups raw quinoa, well rinsed and drained 
1 tbs. olive oil 
1 medium red onion, chopped 
4 large garlic cloves, minced 
1 cup finely diced carrots 
1 medium red bell pepper 
Pinch cayenne pepper 
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin 
½ tsp. ground coriander 
½ tsp. sea salt 
3 cups vegetable stock or water 
1 med avocado (optional) 
1 tbs. fresh lime juice 
1 1/3 cups canned red kidney beans 
1 cup chopped cilantro 
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds 

1. Heat pan over low to medium heat, then add quinoa. Cook, stirring often, until grain is lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. 
2. Heat large pan or skillet with a tight fitting cover over medium heat, then add and heat the oil. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Stir in garlic, carrot, and red pepper and continue sautéing. 
3. Add cayenne, cumin and coriander; sauté briefly. Add toasted quinoa, salt and stock. 
4. Bring liquid to a boil, cover the pan tightly and reduce heat to very low. Cook 15 minutes, then remove the pan from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. 
5. Peel and slice avocado and gently toss with limejuice. 
6. Uncover skillet and stir the beans into the grain mixture. Add cilantro, marinated avocado and pumpkin seeds. Toss lightly. Salt to taste. 


Per serving (309g): 372 calories, 15g fat, 2g sat fat, 49g carbohydrate, 13.7g protein, 9.7g fiber, 4.3mg iron.