“Seashells in the Sand” (Quinoa and Seashell Noodle Pilaf)

"Seashells in the Sand" (Quinoa and Seashell Noodle Pilaf) Photo by Rachael Braun

Here’s a simple combo of tiny seashell pasta and high-protein quinoa. I’m not usually one for “cute” recipe names, but both the name and the presentation worked wonders to tempt my kids to learn to love whole grains. Adults will enjoy this dish embellished with fresh herbs and toasted almonds; the kids will more likely enjoy it without. Serve with a simple bean dish and a colorful salad for an easy meal. Photos by Rachael Braun.

Serves: 6 or so as a side dish, 4 as a main dish

  • 1 cup quinoa (regular or red, though red looks prettier!)
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube or 1 tablespoon
    mixed seasoning blend (like Frontier or Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 cup tiny shell pasta (use Ancient Harvest quinoa shells
    if you need to make this gluten-free)
  • 1 1 /2 to 2 tablespoons Earth Balance, or fragrant nut or olive oil
  • Salt or seasoned salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh herbs (try a combination of parsley, dill, and scallion)
  • Toasted sliced or slivered almonds, optional

Combine the quinoa with 2 cup water and the bouillon cube or seasoning blend in a small saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, then turn the heat down and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a separate saucepan until al dente, then drain.

Combine the cooked grain and pasta in a serving container. Stir in the Earth Balance or oil until melted, then season with salt and pepper. Stir in the optional fresh herbs and/or almonds, or pass around to top individual portions.

Seashell pasta with quinoa2

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9 Responses to ““Seashells in the Sand” (Quinoa and Seashell Noodle Pilaf)”

  1. TheoWalcot says:

    Greetings! The site is great. Thank you for a great resource

  2. Brendan says:

    I’d like to see a photo of the finished product so I have an idea if I did it right.

  3. Nava says:

    Hi Brendan, unfortunately we don’t have photos for each and every recipe, though we do have many. If it tastes good, you did it right, though really, there is no right or wrong! If you do end up taking a photo of the recipe, send it along and I’ll use it in this post!

  4. Julia says:

    I just made the recipe, and it’s super tasty!
    Although, I added black olives and green olives, and a dash of cumin & mint(dried),and a few drops of fresh lemon.

  5. Nava says:

    Julia, this simple recipe is a good one to add your own touches to, and I love your ideas. They sound like they took the dish to the next level. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Natalie says:

    I just love how versatile quinoa is! This looks great, and I bet it would also work well with other small pasta shapes like isreali couscous, or orzo shapes! (So many recipes, so little time!)

  7. Nava says:

    Sorry for the delayed response, Natalie. I love the idea of Israeli couscous in this; I may try that next time!

  8. Glennda Anderson says:

    Yum!
    I made a version of this last night. I added julienned carrots, red bell pepper and broccoli florets and dressed it in a quick basil lime dressing.
    So good! Thanks for the idea.

  9. Nava says:

    That sounds like a great tweak, Glennda. We will add some veggie variations to this recipe. Thanks!!

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