Quinoa and Lentil Pilaf

Canada's Food Guide recommends that you make half of your grain servings whole grain. The Incas, who first cultivated quinoa in the Andes, called quinoa (pronounced keenwa) the mother of all grains. The Guide also suggests that you eat legumes such as lentils often.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes



  1. Put leftovers away within 2 hours or sooner if they are in a warm location. Reheat leftovers to an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F). Discard uneaten leftovers after they have been reheated.


Onion 1/2 cup (125 mL)
Celery 1 cup (250 mL)
Red pepper 1/4 cup (50 mL)
Lemon 1 Tbsp (15 mL) zest + 1 Tbsp (15 mL) juice 
Olive oil

1 Tbsp (15 mL) 

Curry powder, optional

1 tsp (5 mL)

Quinoa 1/2 cup (125 mL)
Ground cumin

1/2 tsp (2 mL)

Canned lentils, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup (125 mL)


1/2 cup (125 mL)

Reduced sodium vegetable or chicken stock

1/2 cup (125 mL)

Pepper, to taste



1. Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Clean all countertops and equipment used for food preparation.

2. Gently rinse onion, celery, lemon, red pepper under cool running water.

3. Dice the onion and celery; set aside in a small bowl. Finely dice the red pepper and place in another small bowl.

4. Zest the lemon, then juice it. Save the remaining lemon for another use.

5. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and curry powder (if using); cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

6. Using a strainer, rinse quinoa under cold water and drain well. Add quinoa, cumin and lentils to the vegetables and stir for 1 minute.

7. Add water, stock, lemon zest and juice and bring to a boil.

8. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Then stir in red pepper.

9. Season with pepper and serve.

Nutrition Information per serving (1/2 cup/125 mL): 

Calories: 237 kcal

Protein: 9 g

Fat: 6 g

Fibre: 5 g

Sodium: 139 mg

Carbohydrates: 38 g

Potassium: 563 mg


Last Update – April 2, 2024

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