Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)


Food for Life
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Recipe of the Week

May 9, 2017

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Looking for the best sources of calcium on a plant-based diet? Try these calcium-rich foods to keep your bones healthy!

Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa cooks faster than other whole grains, like brown rice and barley, and it's much higher in protein.

Makes 8 servings


1 yellow or red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups quinoa, washed and dried
3 cups boiling water or vegetable broth (add 1 teaspoon salt if using water or unsalted broth)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)


Sauté onion, celery, carrot, and garlic in a couple of tablespoons of vegetable broth or water until they start to caramelize or turn brown. 

Add cumin, oregano, and quinoa. 

Stir constantly and cook for about 3 more minutes to allow spices and quinoa to toast. Add boiling salted water or vegetable broth. Cover and cook about 20 minutes or until all the liquid has completely absorbed and the quinoa has "bloomed." Do not stir during cooking and make sure the lid is tight to prevent moisture from escaping. Remove from heat and allow quinoa to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Add cilantro or parsley, if using. Fluff with a fork and serve.  

Allow leftovers to cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days. 

Tip: For a variation, omit cumin and oregano and add 1 teaspoon dried thyme, rosemary, and/or sage.

Source: The Survivor's Handbook: Eating Right for Cancer Survival, by Neal D. Barnard, M.D., and Jennifer Reilly, R.D.

Per serving (1/8 of recipe): Calories: 172; Fat: 2.6 g; Saturated Fat: 0.3 g; Calories from Fat: 13.8%; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Protein: 6 g; Carbohydrate: 32 g; Sugar: 3.6 g; Fiber: 3.1 g; Sodium: 318 mg; Calcium: 45 mg; Iron: 4.4 mg; Vitamin C: 1.7 mg; Beta-Carotene: 647 mcg; Vitamin E: 0.8 mg

Please feel free to tailor Physicians Committee recipes to suit your individual dietary needs.

  Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

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Contact: 202-686-2210

Food for  Life

Food for Life is an award-winning Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine program designed by physicians, nurses, and registered dietitians that offers cancer, diabetes, and kids classes that focus on the lifesaving effects of healthful eating. Each class includes information about how certain foods and nutrients work to promote health, along with cooking demonstrations of simple and nutritious recipes that can be recreated easily at home. Learn more here >>

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