Meatless Monday: Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

By: Lauren Miyashiro

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

You’ve completed another successful holiday eating marathon. Beginning last Thursday and ending on Sunday, it was mashed potatoes, stuffing and apple pie all day, everyday. You never thought the day would come, but you’re finally tired of leftovers (which is good because it’s time to consider tossing them anyways). With Christmas and more festive feasting soon to come, take a break from the rich and heavy foods with something light and healthy like Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf.

Packed with protein and fiber, quinoa is a great food to ward off hunger. Filled with bright flavors like lemon, pomegranate and scallion, Kelsey's recipe tastes healthy, but in a good way. A generous serving will energize you rather than make you full and sleepy so you'll be ready to tackle another holiday season (and enjoy more Christmas cookies).

Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 cup quinoa

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth ** swap in vegetable broth to make the dish truly  meatless

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup diagonally sliced scallions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until translucent and fragrant. Add the quinoa and stir to coat. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, pomegranate seeds, scallions, parsley, lemon juice, zest, and sugar. Add the quinoa and season with salt, and pepper to taste. Garnish with toasted, slivered almonds.

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