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Quinoa Pilaf with Spinach

I would never have dreamed of making this dish had it not been for the recommendation of someone I love.  It just doesn’t seem like something that would go over well with children!  I also have to add that I am no lover of spinach!  However, this is SO tasty my mouth is watering as I write this sentence.

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is a marvel!  It is an ancient grain so packed with nutrition, many people consider it one of the world’s healthiest foods.  Once prolific in the Andes mountains of South America, it all but disappeared for centuries.  It’s back!  These little round power packed seeds are amusing to eat (cooked, of course), and children gobble them down.

Interesting Facts about Quinoa:

  1. It’s not actually a true grain, but a seed related to spinach and swiss chard.  Hmmm, what does THAT tell you?
  2. It has all nine essential amino acids, making it very high in protein.
  3. It’s gluten free!
  4. It’s fun to say!  If you ever want to come across as cerebral or enlightened, just casually mention the word in conversation.   Better yet, talk about this recipe.   “Pilaf” sounds slightly pretentious as well, and if you substitute feta cheese for the parmesan, you’ll pretty much be revered as a quintessential intellectual gourmet!  Ahem. :)
  5. It delivers all the additional benefits of whole grains: fiber, phytochemicals, and nutrient density.

You’re going to have to trust me on this one.  Give this recipe a try.  It is fantastic!


Quinoa Pilaf with Spinach

  • YIELD: 4 Servings
  • PREP: 5 mins
  • COOK: 15 mins
  • READY IN: 20 mins

Amazing in flavor and texture, this dish features the nutty flavor of high-protein whole grain quinoa, with the added nutrition of healthy oils and nutrient-rich spinach.


  • 1/2 cup Thrive quinoa
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flax seed oil may use regular vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 clove garlic or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup Thrive freeze-dried spinach reconstituted and drained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste


  1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa, and cook 15 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the flax seed oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sunflower seeds, and stir frequently until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, quinoa, and spinach. Stir until ingredients are heated through.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice and cheese. Add salt as desired. Serve immediately.
  • COURSE: Side Dish


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