Pistachio Garlic Mint Quinoa Pilaf By Carol Kicinski

Rating: 
Yield: 
6 servings
Ingredients: 

½ cup Shelled, roasted, salted pistachios
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 Shallot, finely chopped, Or
¼ Small red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 ½ cups Pre-rinsed quinoa
2 ¼ cups Water
1 teaspoon Kosher or fine sea salt
1 ½ cups Fresh mint leaves, loosely packed

Instructions: 

Heat a sauce pot or deep skillet with a lid over medium heat, add the pistachios and toast for about 4 minutes or until fragrant. Put the nuts into the bowl of a food processor and let cool.
Return the pan to heat, add the olive oil and shallot or onion. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the shallot or onion starts to soften. Add the garlic and quinoa and toast the quinoa for about 3 minutes- you want the quinoa to light toast but you do not want the garlic to brown. Add the water and salt and increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the water starts to boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
Pulse the pistachios in the food processor until they are roughly chopped. Add the mint and pulse several times until the mint is finely chopped. Stir the mint and pistachios into the quinoa as you fluff it with a fork.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!