Asiago Zucchini-Quinoa Pilaf

4 03 2014

I’ve seen cheesy zucchini rice, quinoa or a combo of both floating around pinterest lately. Decided to give my own version a whirl. This low-carb side includes an extra serving of veggies, and can be made quickly. Serve alongside a protein or salad for a simple weeknight supper.

Asiago Zucchini-Quinoa Pilaf

Asiago Zucchini-Quinoa Pilaf

The following serves 4 as a side dish (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa (use pre-washed to save yourself time)
  • 2 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 heaping cup asiago, shredded
  • 1 – 2 Tbsps non-fat half and half
  • Couple leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • Handful of parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add quinoa and toast, 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Next add the chicken broth, stir together, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook 10-12 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, shred zucchini with a box grated or food processor. If using a food processor, you may want to do this in a few batches to make sure the zucchini remains chunky and not pureed.

Once quinoa is cooked, add the zucchini, cheese and half and half, and cook over low heat for another minute or so, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted and zucchini is warmed through. You can add more half and half if needed, but the zucchini will give off some of it’s liquid as well. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper as desired.

Garnish with basil and parsley, and a little more cheese. I had a few slices of multigrain baguette that I crushed up on top for some crunch, but no worries if you don’t have any. Serve zucchini-quinoa along with a protein of your choice or a salad.

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