This Cilantro Lime Quinoa is not only the perfect side dish to your meals, but great as a replacement for rice in your Mexican burritos and stuffed peppers!
Sometimes it’s hard to believe we used to live in a world when quinoa wasn’t a staple. Not even 5 years ago, the word “quinoa” drew blank stares and confused looks. No one could pronounce it (some still can’t!) and very few people had it in their pantry. Suddenly, thanks to restaurants, chefs, and food bloggers, quinoa has become an everyday ingredient, just as common as rice! Everyone from five star restaurants to home cooks use it in their meals! Not only is it a fantastic as an ingredient, but its nutritional content is awesome as well! It is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. Packed with a great amount of fiber, iron, and magnesium, a powerful antioxidant, it will take your recipes to the next level of flavor and nutrition.
Oh and the wonders of winter citrus amazes me every year, even through the spring. Thanks to the V-etched Better Zester by KitchenIQ, you get a finer zest than any other zester I’ve ever tried and I’ve tested them all in our professional kitchen. I’m actually requesting that our Executive Chef buys a couple of these for the restaurant – it cuts down the time on zesting and produces better results, thus the name! We have an orange almond cake on our dessert menu and I sometimes need to zest dozens of oranges for it – this zester has become my best friend in the kitchen, plus I adore the bright colors it comes in! Oh and somehow it will not grate your fingers off – I’ve grated my skin/nails many times with other zester, but not this one!
A little more detail on this zester: it’s made up of over 300 tiny V- shaped teeth and is covered with a non- stick coating. The food- approved coating allows the zester to smoothly glide across the surface of all types of citrus, while finely zesting the outer layer of skin and not the bitter pith. The Better Zester includes a “fresh zest” storage container with squeegee. (Note from me: This storing container on the back is not pictured below but I’ve honestly zested lemons and just threw the entire zester in the fridge. The zest stays fresh for up to a week!)
To me, quinoa is a blank canvas ready for your combination of ingredients to make it shine. Don’t get me wrong, fluffy quinoa with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of sea salt is one of the best simple meals ever, but sometimes we’re craving more. More flavor, more texture. That’s where this Cilantro Lime Quinoa comes in – it’s packed with one of my favorite flavor combinations, fresh cilantro, olive oil, and lime juice!
I’ve got to mention that the simple dressing of freshly squeezed lime juice and California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a touch of sea salt is what makes this quinoa off the charts amazing. My favorite oil to use is the Miller’s Blend from COR – it’s got a bit of sweet fruit and a peppery ending, that when paired with the lime juice, balances out the citrus acid! Oh and I’ve got to mention Ancient Harvest Quinoa, which we stock in our pantry like the world is going to end – it makes perfectly fluffy quinoa all the time!
Disclaimer: KitchenIQ sent me a few of their products to review, free of charge but I was not under any obligation to post about it. Stay tuned for a future recipe post and giveaway from them!