December 6, 2012

Protein Packed Savoury and Sweet Pilaf

 This protein-rich vegetarian dish is a super star in the nutrient and the flavour department. The sage and thyme combined with the sweetness from the dried cranberries give this dish its fabulous fall flavours.

Bonus points: it can be prepared the day ahead making it great for a Thanksgiving or Christmas buffet.

Add a festive note: Add 1 cup (250 mL) pomegranate seeds to add more festive flavours, some crunch, and a big hit of antioxidants.



1 cup (250 mL) red quinoa, rinsed and drained

2 cups (500 mL) vegetable broth

2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil

1 leek, cleaned, trimmed, white part only, sliced into thin coins

1 onion, chopped

4 oz (125 g) cremini or white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tsp (10 mL) dried thyme leaves, not the ground type

1 tsp (5 mL) ground sage

One -350 g package extra firm tofu, cut into ½ inch (1.5 cm) cubes

½ cup (125 mL) pecan halves, toasting is optional

½ cup (125 mL) dried cranberries

¼ tsp (1 mL) fresh cracked black pepper

¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Place the quinoa in a medium/large pot; add water and bring to boil; cover over medium/low heat for 15-18 minutes. The quinoa is done when the grains are translucent and all the water has been absorbed. Fluff with fork, remove from heat and let stand 5 – 10 minutes. Remove lid and let quinoa cool while the vegetables are cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a separate medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oil, leeks, onion, mushrooms, garlic, tofu, thyme and sage. Stir well. Cook covered 5 – 10 minutes stirring occasionally until vegetables are wilted.
  3. Stir hot vegetable mixture into cooked quinoa together with pecans, dried cranberries, and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle quinoa mixture with fresh parsley and gently fold in.
  5. Serve immediately. Alternatively, omit the parsley, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  6. To re-heat, sprinkle with ½ cup (125 mL) warm water and heat in 350°F (180°C) oven about 25 – 30 minutes or until warm or microwave until warm. Toss in parsley and pomegranate seeds if using.


Makes 8 cups (2 L) One serving = 2 cups (500 mL)

Per serving (2 cups/500 mL): 513 calories, 24 g fat, 2 g sat. fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 248 mg sodium, 58 g carbohydrates, 8 g fibre, 16 g sugar, 18 g protein.

Excellent source of folate, magnesium, iron and zinc.

 This recipe was created by professional home economist Jan Main and taken from The Vegetarians Complete Quinoa Cookbook



6 Comments on “Protein Packed Savoury and Sweet Pilaf

Janice Calder
December 17, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I found them! yeah, can’t wait to try these two recipes during the holiday season with my vegie friend and family. They looked so good, and I love the fact that they can both be made ahead.

Thanks for peaking my interest.

December 22, 2012 at 9:47 am

I love creating recipes that can help people out!
Peace, love and fibre,

December 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Can the harvest dinner be made the day before and then reheated?

December 22, 2012 at 9:47 am

Bonus – it tastes even better the next day.
Peace, love and fibre,

carol Barrett
December 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm

i could not find the receipe for Sweet potatoe casserole that was on B.T. around Dec.5th please help

December 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I’ll send you the link
Peace, love and fibre,


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