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