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Quinoa Risotto with White Beans, Arugula, and Parmesan
A nutritional powerhouse in tender form


1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil 
½ sweet yellow onion, chopped 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 cup (175 g) quinoa, well rinsed 
3 cups (705 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth 
¼ to 1/3 cup (35 to 45 g) pine nuts 
1 can (15.8 ounce or 455 g) organic great northern beans, drained and rinsed, or 2 cups (200 g) fresh-cooked beans 
1 cup (70 g) thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms 
1 carrot, finely grated 
2½ cups (50 g) rocket arugula, stemmed and chopped 
¼ cup (25 g) fresh grated Parmesan cheese 
½ teaspoon salt 
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and quinoa and cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. (Don't let the garlic brown.) Add the broth, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the quinoa is almost tender to the bite but slightly hard in the center, about 12 minutes. (The mixture will be brothy.)

While the mixture is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat until they release their oils and fragrance, 3 to 4 minutes. (Do not overcook; browning makes them bitter.)

At 12 minutes (on the quinoa), stir in the beans, mushrooms, carrot, and arugula and simmer (increasing heat if necessary) the quinoa grains have turned from white to translucent and their "tails" have popped, about 2 to 3 minutes longer. Stir in the cheese, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle pine nuts over the top. Serve immediately.

Yield: About 4 servings

Notes from the Kitchen
  • If you want to add a little more bite to the Quinoa Risotto with White Beans, Arugula, and Parmesan, try adding a sprinkle of Minus 8 or high-quality balsamic vinegar to finish the cooked dish. 
  • Try using red heirloom quinoa for a pretty dish. 
  • You can use fat-free chicken broth instead of vegetable broth in the quinoa, if you're not concerned about keeping it vegetarian. 
  • Don't limit your quinoa experience to just the delicious Quinoa Risotto with White Beans, Arugula, and Parmesan. Experiment. Quinoa cooks up just like oatmeal, and it makes a great substitute for a more traditional hot cereal. You can even mix it with oatmeal for an unusual "half and half." A number of cold cereals are now available that are based on quinoa. 
  • Quinoa makes a great substitute for a starchy side dish. It's great with a little organic butter and sea salt! 
  • This mild quinoa dish does well served simply over a bed of largeleaf lettuce. Or you can steam some seasonal greens briefly in a steamer basket as a side. Try it with whole baby bok choy in the late spring or young collards, stemmed and cut into ribbons, in the early fall. 

The above is an excerpt from the book The Healthiest Meals on Earth

by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.
Published by Fair Winds Press;  July 2008;$24.95US/$27.50CAN; 978-1-59233-318-9
Copyright © 2008 Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.

The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Author Bio
Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S, is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition, and health. He's a board-certified nutrition specialist with a master's degree in psychology, a life coach, motivational speaker, and former personal trainer with six national certifications. His most recent book is the much-praised The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth. His book The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising Truth about What You Should Eat and Why has been endorsed by a virtual who's who in the world of integrative medicine and nutrition, including Mehmet Oz, M.D., Christiane Northurp, M.D., and Barry Sears, Ph.D.