Friday, May 23, 2014

Turkey-Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf

Make this simple, nourishing quinoa recipe for dinner when you are pinched for time and need to use up the vegetables in your fridge! It's best to use leftover, or completely cooled, cooked quinoa when making pilafs or stir-frys. This way it doesn't clump up during the sautéing process. Use whatever veggies and fresh herbs you have on hand. For example, I've used carrots, asparagus, and cauliflower before. Snipped fresh chives and dill are excellent additions as well. If you don't have ground turkey, don't add it. Leftover cooked chicken or beans can work here too. 

This recipe is suitable for phase 3 of our Elimination Diet, or omit the red bell peppers (nightshades) and use it during phase 2. If you are following one of the stricter variations for severe gut disorders, then omit the quinoa and serve the turkey-veggie part over cooked spaghetti or kabocha squash. 

Turkey-Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf

Use the directions for cooking quinoa in one of my cookbooks. Look for organic ground dark meat turkey in the frozen section of your local health food store. Ground chicken or lamb work well here too. I also love adding a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves to each serving if I have them on hand. Serve pilaf alongside a large romaine lettuce salad for a balanced meal.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, cut into half moons
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 medium zucchinis, cut into half moons
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Herbamare or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup chopped parsley

For the Turkey:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound ground organic turkey
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a 12-inch deep cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then add the onions; sauté for about 5 minutes, then add the other vegetables, dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Sauté veggies for about 5 to 7 more minutes. While veggies are cooking start cooking the turkey. Heat another smaller skillet over medium heat. Add the tablespoon of oil and then add the turkey, seasoning, salt, and pepper; sauté a few minutes or until cooked through. Add to the pan with the vegetables.

Add the quinoa to the turkey and vegetables and sauté a few minutes more. Add the parsley, stir, and serve. Source:

Yield: about 6 servings

More Elimination Diet Recipes:
Garlic-Herb Turkey Burgers
Quinoa-Salmon Burgers
Healing Quinoa Cabbage Soup

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Looks great! I like making meals like this to take to work for the week - Sunday is my cooking day for the week! I will have my Quinoa porridge for breakfast and quinoa for lunch!

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for the great recipes and cookbooks Ali! I have both the first two books and we use them a lot!
    I have a few questions I'm hoping you would be so kind to help me out with please?
    1. Is the new ' Whole Life Nutrition' cookbook available as an ebook?
    2. I've been reading up a lot of different information on phytic acid in grains. I have since started soaking all my grains including rice, but I don't know if I'm doing it correctly. I live in Dubai so it's extremely hot at the moment and soaking quinoa for 36 hours on the counter has it smelly and foamy. I have not been able to find proper instructions anywhere on how to soak grains to reduce phytic acid. I would really appreciate some soaking instructions etc for different grains and different temperatures.
    3. I can't find psyllium husks here, just the powdered psyllium husks and you state they are not interchangeable. If I were to use the powdered psyllium how should I sub it in the recipe?
    4. What can be substituted for the psyllium and flax for those who are allergic to both? I don't use gums either as my family gets sick consuming them.....
    Thanks once again!

    1. I know you commented 5 years ago so you may have found a good source on soaking grains etc. The soirce i found says to soak quinoa for 2 hours, or if you want to sprout them then soak for 1-2 days. You do need to rinse every so often when sprouting in order to prevent it from growing things you dont want and goong bad.


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