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Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking
by Beverly Lynn Bennett & Ray Sammartano
Quinoa is native to Central and South America, and it tastes especially delicious when combined with corn, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds, like in this easy-to-prepare dish.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serving size: 1 cup
Yield: 4 or 5 servings



    • 1½ cups quinoa
    • 3 cups water or vegetable broth
    • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen cut corn kernels
    • 2 tsp. olive oil
    • 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
    • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
    • 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley


1. Place quinoa in a very fine-mesh strainer, and rinse well under running water for 1 minute.

2. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring water, quinoa, salt, and black pepper to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick skillet over low heat, cook pumpkin seeds, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer toasted pumpkin seeds to a small bowl, and set aside.

4. Place corn and olive oil in the skillet, and sauté over medium heat, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add green onions, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes, and sauté for 1 or 2 minutes or until green onions soften. Remove from heat.

5. Fluff quinoa with a fork to loosen grains. Add corn mixture, toasted pumpkin seeds, and cilantro, and stir gently with a fork to combine. Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.

Variation: For extra color and to bulk up the dish, you can also add some of your favorite canned beans, chopped bell peppers, chopped jalapeño peppers, or chopped black olives.

Definition: Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa] is a very tiny grain, roughly the same size as sesame seeds, first used by the Aztecs and Incas. This "supergrain" is a good source of protein (contains almost 50 percent more protein than wheat), carbohydrates, fiber, and many vitamins and minerals, including calcium.


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