When I’m in a pinch and need a side dish Quinoa always comes to mind. You can eat it plain, add some veggies, or cheese and it is always a winner. I love broccolini and quinoa so, I decided to combine the two for Broccolini Quinoa Pilaf.
Broccolini,baby broccoli, asparation and broccoli rabe…they are basically the same just from different farms. Rabe has more leafy greens and is slightly more bitter. Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and chinese kale. Broccolini is a trademarked name so, you will see other companies variation are labeled baby broccoli or asparation. Broccolini tastes is a little like broccoli and asparagus. It is slightly sweet and milder than regular broccoli. Nutritionally, they are all very similar so, you can’t go wrong picking one or the other 🙂
Cruciferous vegetables have long been associated with cancer prevention. A 10 year study by Harvard showed that people who ate cruciferous vegetables five times a week were less likely to develop bladder cancer.
Like most green vegetables, broccolini is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, calcium, and iron. Another bonus is that unlike broccoli and asparagus, the stalks aren’t woody. You can eat these from flower to stem.
To increase the nutrition content of this dish, I opted to add walnuts. Walnuts add a nice textural crunch to the dish plus, they are full of great nutrients.
Walnuts are the only nut that provides omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega 3 fatty acids help reduce heart disease and can lower cholesterol. The healthy fats, monounsaturated fat (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) in walnuts can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Walnuts also contain the minerals phosphorus, magnesium, and Vitamin E -which works as an antioxidant to also help protect the heart.
( 1 oz)
- Calories 185
- Calcium 28 mg
- Magnesium 45 mg
- Phosphorus 98 mg
- Potassium 125 mg
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 bunch broccolini, trimmed
- 2 oz chopped walnuts
- In a large pan with lid heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and cook for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant.
- Add quinoa to pan, stir to combine. Slowly add in broth and bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to low, cook for 15 minutes.
- In the last 2-3 minutes of cooking add in broccolini on top of the quinoa (do not stir) and cover.
- Uncover and toss broccolini and quinoa together.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add walnuts and serve hot.
Whether you are looking for a side dish or a meatless meal you can not go wrong with this Broccolini Quinoa Pilaf. I love that in one dish you have quinoa which is a complete protein, walnuts that provide Omega 3 fatty acids, and Broccolini with lots of vitamins and minerals. It is hard to beat healthy and delicious 😀