Slow Cooker Quinoa Pilaf

As a suggested alternative ingredient to garlic, Asafetida, which is also sometimes spelled as asoefetida, is an herb with a foul smell raw, but it imparts a flavor similar to leeks when itʼs cooked. If youʼre uncertain about using it, or any of the other suggested seasonings, cook the quinoa as instructed and then do a test sample using a sprinkling of the herbs and spices on a small portion that you cook for 30 seconds in the microwave.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 2 hours 25 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1¾ cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
  • ⅛ Freshly ground black pepper


  • Soak quinoa in water for 5 minutes; rinse twice, then drain.
  • Add the celery, bell pepper, and oil to a microwave-safe bowl; cover and microwave on high for 1 minute or until the celery is tender. Stir in the garlic, cashews, and bay leaf. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until cashews begin to take on a golden color. Let rest covered for 5 minutes.
  • Add the contents of the microwave-safe bowl to the slow cooker along with the quinoa, thyme, turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, and salt. Stir to combine. Pour in the boiling water, cover, and cook on low for 2 hours, or until all of the water is absorbed. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the chopped parsley, season with pepper, and serve.