Lemony Quinoa Pilaf with Cauliflower and Pine Nuts


This month the food community is joining us in our cause to raise diabetes awareness.  We’re delighted to have food writer  Zoe Singer of Fit Pregnancy sharing a recipe with us today. – Jessica Apple


Lemony Quinoa Pilaf with Cauliflower and Pine Nuts - Zoe Singer

This recipe stems from a practice that I began when my toddler seemed to be losing interest in eating vegetables. I just keep them around, all over the place.

We set out raw veggies for a snack in the living room in the afternoon when everyone’s starting to get hungry. And I steam a ton of veggies to serve as super-plain side dishes with dinner each night, even if we’re also eating something with vegetables in it and serving a salad.

One result is that there is always a container of leftover cooked green beans or cauliflower or some such in the fridge to grab when I’m working at home and wanting lunch.

I tossed cauliflower into this quick quinoa pilaf for lunch, and the high protein content of quinoa made a big difference in how long it took before I got hungry again. This is a flavorful, filling lunch to pack (or in my case grab out of the fridge) and it also makes an elegant, easy side dish to serve with fish or chicken.

(3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Lemony Quinoa Pilaf with Cauliflower and Pine Nuts


  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained three times
  • 1 ½ cups roasted, steamed or sautéed cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green olives, optional
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, plus additional
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring the stock to a simmer in a small saucepan and stir in the drained, rinsed quinoa. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the grains expand and the liquid is absorbed, 20-25 minutes.
  2. Toss the quinoa with the remaining ingredients, season with salt, pepper and added lemon juice as desired, and serve warm or at room temperature.
  3. If you don’t mind using another small skillet, toast the pine nuts in the olive oil and pour the hot mixture over the rest of the pilaf.

Yield: 4

Follow Zoe Singer on Twitter @ZoeEatsWrite and thefastertimes.com/food.

*All photos courtesy of Zoe Singer.  For more recipes like this one visit FitPregnancy.

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10 years ago

I added sumac into this as I did not have any olives in the pantry!
Delicious thanks!

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