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Quinoa pilaf with turmeric eggplant and harissa yoghurt

Whilst we’re all spending more time at home, I thought I might use the opportunity when I can to take you through some of the deliciously different ways we can use the grains / pseudo grains / nuts / seeds and other pantry items. I know I’ve a stack I want to play with so will do my best to nail the recipes (laughable with a new born at times) and share with you too.

Kicking it off with this Quinoa Pilaf with turmeric eggplant and harissa yoghurt. Sounds fancy and complex doesn’t it? Well let me say it truly is not! It’s such a low maintenance but wonderfully deliciously, heart warming, energy boosting, gut loving meal and I know once you have made it once it will go on repeat on your cooking rep. You can swap out the eggplant for other roasted veggies if you wish or alternatively a piece of protein of your choice. Same for the yoghurt, go dairy or coconut for full vegan. Enjoy!


Gluten free : Vegetarian / Vegan (0pt)

Serves 2 as a main

1 medium eggplant cut into 8ths

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander



1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 medium (80g) red onion, peeled and diced

1/2 medium (80g) red capsicum, seeded and diced

1 carrot (80g), trimmed and diced

1 stalk celery, diced

2 tbsp finely chopped coriander

1/2 cup (75g) quinoa, rinsed

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup (250ml) vegetable stock

200g cooked chickpeas (about 1/2 x 400g tin – rinsed and drained)

1 tablespoon finely sliced mint leaves

2 teaspoons hemp seeds to serve, optional


Harissa yoghurt:

3/4 cup natural greek or 1/2  cup coconut yoghurt

1-2 teaspoons ground harissa spice

1 teaspoon honey (omit for vegan)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

sea salt and black pepper

Heat the oven to 200C and line a baking tay with greaseproof paper. Toss eggplant in olive oil and spices, season with sea salt and black pepper and bake in oven for 30 minutes. Whilst the eggplant cooks make the pilaf. Heat a saucepan on medium heat, add oil, onion, capsicum, carrot, celery and coriander, stir then cover and cook for 8 minutes. Add quinoa, chickpeas cinnamon and vegetable stock, bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 12-15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through. It will be quite a loose quinoa when it finishes cooking. Whilst cooking whisk together ingredients for harissa yoghurt and set aside. Once eggplant and quinoa pilaf is cooked, stir through mint. Spoon ingredients into a bowl, top with hemp seeds if handy and enjoy! 

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline is an Accredited Nutritional Medicine Practitioner specialising in family and early childhood nutrition and gut health. She writes for several media publications, hosts a regular nutrition segment on Channel 7 and in 2016 published her first book, "Seasons to Share" (Murdoch Books). Jacqueline is passionate about working with corporations and brands to support and educate their community and audience and is currently a media spokesperson and ambassador for Remedy Drinks, Eimele Australia, Woolworths, Kitchenaid and Nutrition Director at Bondi Bubs Wholefoods. She is mum to Jet and outside her working hours you'll find her with her family in the surf, on the beach, or out and about in nature.

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