Quinoa Pilaf with Spinach, Apples, and Walnuts

(Serves 4) WF, SF [NF without the walnuts]

Quinoa is a high-protein seed that cooks just like a grain. As such, it makes a great pilaf bed for spinach and apples, whose vitamin C helps aid absorption of iron from the spinach. Walnuts boost the quinoa’s naturally nutty flavor and add a little crunch. This meal requires very little prep and can be on the table in under half an hour. Adapted from Robin Robertson’s Quick-Fix Vegetarian (Andrews McMeel).


  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt, as desired
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 scallions, minced
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces or chopped walnuts
  • 10 oz fresh baby spinach
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium or large apple, diced


  1. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. While waiting on the broth, rinse quinoa well to remove the coating. Drain and set aside.
  3. Once broth comes to a boil, decrease heat to low, add salt as desired, and stir in rinsed quinoa.
  4. Cover and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes, then remove from heat (keeping covered).
  5. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add the scallions and walnuts and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the spinach and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Cover and cook until wilted, about 3-5 minutes.
  9. Add the diced apple and cook for 5 more minutes. (Add the apple and walnuts at a later step, or just before serving, for more crunch.)
  10. Stir in the cooked quinoa and taste.
  11. Adjust seasonings, as needed, then serve.