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Delicious Dishes Include Almonds

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Quinoa Pilaf with Almonds and Apricots

(Family Features) Outdoor entertaining typically means backyard barbecues, but to Food Network star and registered dietitian Ellie Krieger it also means using fresh, seasonal ingredients to create delicious, wholesome meals that also include almonds.

"Anyone can learn to cook and feel their best by getting to know what's available at their local markets, then adding a little creativity and a handful of almonds," says Krieger. "It's easy to incorporate almonds in all their forms into delicious, seasonal dishes that are sure to please party-goers."

Almonds aren't just perfect for party menus, but are tasty in a variety of dishes and snacks, making every bite memorable. For example, mixing toasted sliced or slivered almonds with whole grains, dried fruit and fresh herbs creates a simple yet sophisticated side dish with a nutty flavor and unmistakable crunch.

It Doesn't Have to Feel Routine

Incorporating versatile almonds into everyday meals is easy:

  • Mix toasted slivered almonds with whole grains such as quinoa, rice or couscous.
  • Crushed almonds make a crunchy, delicious coating on baked fish, chicken and other meats.
  • Enjoy in a breakfast yogurt parfait with fresh fruit.
  • Use almond milk when whipping up your favorite shake or smoothie.
  • Toss chopped almonds into your favorite brownie or cookie batter.
  • Carry whole natural almonds in your car, purse or gym bag for snacking.

Developed for Almond Board of California, this flavorful pilaf is a delicious accompaniment to grilled or roasted meat and poultry, and adaptable to any season. The recipe works well with any kind of whole grain, from brown rice to bulgur. The toasted almonds enhance the grain's nuttiness and lend a satisfying crunch.

Raisins or chopped figs work well as a substitute for the apricots. Watch a video of Ellie preparing this flavorful dish, along with other delicious recipes, at the Almond Board's You Tube channel, or at www.AlmondBoard.com.

Quinoa Pilaf with Almonds and Apricots

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
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    1. If quinoa is not pre-rinsed, place in fine mesh strainer and rinse under tap. Put quinoa and water in medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, then cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and grain is tender, 12-15 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, toast slivered almonds in dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant, 5-7 minutes. Transfer almonds to small dish.
    3. Heat oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and they begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in allspice and cook 30 seconds more.
    4. When quinoa is done fluff with a fork and transfer to large serving bowl. Stir in almonds, onion mixture, apricots, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Calories: 263g     Total Fat: 11.4g
Cholesterol: 0mg     Protein: 8.08g
Carbohydrates: 34.6g     Sodium: 159.9mg

Yields 4 servings; Serving size: 3/4 cup
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SOURCE: Almond Board of California

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