Quinoa with Apple and Pomegranate

Pomegranate isn’t in season for very long.  There’s just something about feeling those tart seeds pop in my mouth that takes me back.  Maybe it was only a thing in my small town, but in middle school, pomegranates were all the rage.  Seemed like you were only cool if your fingers were stained red from trying to free those tasty jewels from their tightly packed homes.  Who knew that by the time I was an adult people would be touting this precious fruit for a myriad of health benefits? But I digress.  This super healthy, seasonal side is also tasty and can be served hot, room temperature or cold.

Because my rinsing/toasting process takes a while, I usually do this the morning of the day I plan to make quinoa. Start by rinsing the quinoa.  This helps get rid of some of the bitterness.  Then, toast it.  I find it very hard to toast wet quinoa on the stovetop, so I toast it in the oven.  I set my oven at 200* and let it go until the color is nice and the seed is fragrant.  Takes about 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.

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Simmer the toasted quinoa in a mix of broth and water until tender.  I used half broth/half water because I like what some chicken broth does to the quinoa, but don’t want to overpower this dish with a brothy flavor.  You could use all broth or all water and be just fine.  When the quinoa is tender, put half of your diced apple on top and put the lid back on for about 10 minutes.  This is going to give some of your apple a nice soft texture while keeping some crisp. While that is sitting, remove the seeds from your pomegranate.  Start by removing the crown and scoring the skin in quarters.  This should allow you to pull the pomegranate into quarters without cutting any of the seeds.  The quarters will look something like this.

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Hold the pomegranate seed side down over a bowl.  Use a wooden spoon to whack the pomegranate.  This will cause the seeds to fall out. Much cleaner and quicker that picking them out by hand.  You may have a couple of stubborn seeds left in the skin.  Just gently remove those with your fingers.

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Stir the other half of the apples and the pomegranate seeds into the quinoa.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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Recipe:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and toasted

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup water

1 apple, diced

1 pomegranate, seeded

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Add quinoa, broth and water to a small pot.  Heat until boiling.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender. Add half the diced apple to the quinoa and replace the lid.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir in the remaining apple and the pomegranate.  Season with salt and pepper.

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