Even though I’m certainly no vegan by any means I do try and incorporate vegan/vegetarian dishes into my weekly meal planning. However, as I am active and workout almost daily I function at my best when I’m getting an adequate amount of protein, healthy fats and carbs. Sometimes I find that when removing meat from a meal I feel stumped as to how to incorporate sufficient protein. My go to for most dishes is quinoa. It’s like a little grain of mega powers since it’s packed with all your necessary amino acids making it a complete protein by itself. In addition it has plenty of healthy carbs, is low in fat and has and tons of vitamins and minerals which makes it a well rounded superfood you just can’t not love. Mixing quinoa with flavors that are sweet, salty and tangy make this meal a must for any palette. If you choose not to go the vegan route you can easily incorporate other protein like shrimp or chicken. I enjoy serving this dish in the pineapple shell as not only does it impress any dinner guest but the juice from the fruit left behind brings out the flavors in the dish like no other. This refreshing summer meal would even make a great accompaniment at your next BBQ!
Pineapple Cashew Quinoa
Serves: 2/Total cook time: 25 minutes
- 1/2 c dry quinoa, rinsed (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1 c water
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, diced (red and orange peppers also work well)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c pineapple, diced and outer shell reserved for plating
- 1/2 c raw whole cashews
- 3 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1/2 lime
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a small saucepan cook quinoa as directed in 1 cup of water.
- In the meantime wash and slice pineapple in half lengthwise. Using a small pairing knife remove the fruit being careful not to pierce the pineapple shell and chop fruit into small pieces. Set aside 1 cup of fruit and the empty shells for plating.
- In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat and add diced peppers. Sauté until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add green onions, garlic and reserved pineapple. Stir to combine and let cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Stir in coconut aminos, lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Then, remove from heat.
- When quinoa is cooked and all liquid is absorbed, add it along with the cashews to the veggie pineapple mixture and toss to combine.
- Serve warm using reserved pineapple shells as the bowls. Garnish with cilantro and additional lime if desired.