I’m always looking for ways to get some healthy grains on the plate, but I just shiver at the thought of serving up bland, well, anything. Quinoa and other grains just need a little help to be exciting. This sage cranberry quinoa is a surprising and healthful side dish that everyone in my family really enjoys. The Spiky Thyme is a unique blend of earthy yet bright flavor that pairs perfectly with the zesty dried cranberries.
The best part is that you can master this dish and use my full proof quinoa technique to mix up any flavor combination you can imagine, and keep this healthy side dish exciting. The secret to bringing out the full flavor of quinoa is to gently toast the grains before adding any liquid. Adding a touch of olive oil to your pan will keep the quinoa from burning, and add a little bit of richness as well.
Use chicken stock or broth instead of water to flavor to the quinoa mixture. Adding stock will add plenty of salt to the dish so there is no need to season with anything more than the Spiky Thyme.
Try cooking your grains in a wide flat pot instead of a more narrow sauce pot. I find that the grains absorb the liquids and cook more evenly when they can spread out in the pan.
“What’s in your head, in your head…” — The Cranberries