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Spiced Black Quinoa and Du Puy Lentil Pilaf with Cumin-Ginger Vinaigrette

Serves 6.


    Spiced Black Quinoa and Du Puy Lentil Pilaf with Cumin-Ginger Vinaigrette

    Pilaf is a term liberally used to simply mean “grains cooked in broth.” There are usually onions, garlic, and spices involved, and the grains are often sautéed in butter or oil before being simmered in the liquid. This getaway-friendly version calls for dried spices instead of fresh, which you can combine in advance to save space in your bags and time in your cooking. Feel free, though, to add fresh diced onions, garlic, or other vegetables if you prefer.


    Toasting tips  To toast sunflower seeds, in small saucepan or skillet, heat seeds over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until browned and aromatic. Remove seeds immediately from the pan so they don’t burn.

    Many variations for ultimate flexibility  Don’t be afraid of the long ingredient list. You can skip pretty much any of the spices––except the salt––or replace them with others that you have on hand, such as parsley, thyme, or paprika. You can also use white or tri-coloured quinoa instead of black; the dark colour gives the dish a more dramatic visual effect.


    Spiced Black Quinoa and Du Puy Lentil Pilaf with Cumin-Ginger Vinaigrette


    • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) black quinoa
    • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) du Puy lentils
    • 6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable broth
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground coriander
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) garlic powder
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon, or 1 cinnamon stick
    • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) sunflower seeds, toasted (see Tip)
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) minced fresh parsley, to garnish (optional)
    Cumin-ginger vinaigrette 
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground ginger
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground coriander
    • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground cumin
    • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) dried cranberries, chopped (or barberries, raisins, diced figs, or diced dates)
    • Zest and juice of 1 orange, about 1/4 cup (60 mL) juice
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) black pepper
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil


    Per serving:

    • calories365
    • protein18g
    • fat7g
      • saturated fat1g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates59g
      • sugars7g
      • fibre19g
    • sodium348mg



    For pilaf, in medium bowl, soak quinoa at room temperature in 4 cups (1 L) water.


    In large pot, rinse and drain lentils, then return lentils to pot and add vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, skimming any scum that rises to top, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes.


    Drain quinoa and add to pot with lentils and broth along with coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic powder, bay leaf, salt, and cinnamon. Return to boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Leave covered for 10 minutes.


    For vinaigrette, in sealable jar, combine ginger, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, dried cranberries, orange zest and juice, salt, and pepper. Shake to combine. Add olive oil and shake for 20 seconds more to emulsify. Pour over quinoa and lentils and fluff with fork to combine. Top with sunflower seeds and fresh parsley, if using.



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    B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.