If you follow food trends, I’m sure you’re aware of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) by now.  It’s definitely “in” right now.  Quinoa is a grain-like seed that is high in protein.   I had never eaten it before and to be honest, I viewed it skeptically with the slightly wary eye of someone who enjoys healthy foods but not foods that taste too health food-y, if you know what I mean.  Eventually I saw so many enticing recipes I knew it was time to give it a try.  Unfortunately the first recipe I tried was a total bust, not because of the quinoa itself, but the combination of flavors, general appearance and smell of the dish – all decidedly not good.  Despite all of that I could tell that the quinoa itself was actually quite good and so I kept my eye out for other recipes we might enjoy.  Enter this pineapple quinoa.

Right off the bat it wins points because of the pineapple – I love pineapple.  Pineapple juice is used as part of the cooking liquid to further enhance that flavor.  A serrano pepper mixed in provides a bit of heat to balance out the sweet, green onions give a nice little bite, and the cashews provide a nutty flavor as well as another dimension of texture.  Edamame and red bell pepper add more crunch and up the veggie content.  In short, I love everything about this meal.  It is quick, healthy, and tastes fantastic.  We’ve made it many times now and it’s definitely made its way into regular rotation.  If you are new to quinoa, I highly recommend this recipe as an introduction.  I’m officially hooked.


    1 cup quinoa
    1 cup pineapple juice
    1 cup cold water
    2 tbsp. plus ½ tsp. soy sauce
    1/3 cup raw cashew pieces (unsalted)
    2 tbsp. vegetable oil
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    1 cup cooked edamame
    2 scallions, thinly sliced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
    1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and grated or finely diced
    ½ of a medium pineapple, cored, peeled and diced
    ½ cup loosely packed basil, finely chopped
    Lime wedges, for serving


    • 01

      Combine the quinoa, pineapple juice, ½ teaspoon of soy sauce and water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from the heat, let stand covered for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff with a fork.

    • 02

      Toast the cashews in a large skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

    • 03

      Return the pan to the stove and increase the heat to medium-high.  Heat the vegetable oil.  Stir in the bell pepper and edamame and stir fry for about 3 minutes, or until the bell pepper is slightly softened.  Stir in the scallions, garlic, ginger, and serrano and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the pineapple, quinoa and basil.  Mix well to combine.  Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and continue to cook for a few minutes more until everything is well blended and heated through.  Serve garnished with lime wedges, if desired.