Goji Berries: Goji Berries are rich in antioxidants such as Vitamins C and A which help protect your body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. They also contain large amounts of carotenoids (beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lycopene) and, like other berries, their polyphenols may target some processes involved in cancer development.

Buckwheat: Whole grains are a rich source of various bioactive compounds, including vitamin E, selenium, copper, zinc, lignans and phenolic compounds. They are also rich in fiber, which plays a key role in intestinal health by allowing optimal elimination of food residues and toxins. According to World Cancer Research Fund, a diet high in fibre, including one high in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, helps reduce the risk of developing cancer.

Lentil Buckwheat Pilaf with Pumpkin Seeds, Carrots and Goji Berries

Author: Food Innovation & Research Studio (FIRSt), George Brown College, Toronto

4 Servings    40 minutes


  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ cup Onion, small diced
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 cup Carrots, grated and water squeezed out
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 5 each Saffron threads
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ cups Buckwheat groats, rinsed
  • 1 can Coconut milk (see Chef’s Tips)
  • 1 ½ cups No salt added vegetable stock
  • 2 cups Canned lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds, dry roasted and unsalted
  • ½ cup Goji Berries


  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add 2 tbsp olive oil, onions, and cook for 5 minutes until translucent.
  2. Add lemon juice, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add carrots and 3 tbsp olive oil. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring continuously.
  4. Add garlic, paprika, saffron and salt, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
  5. Stir in the buckwheat, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 15 minutes, then stir in the pumpkin seeds and goji berries. Cook for an additional 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

  • Look for canned coconut milks that only contain coconut cream and water, and no additional fillers.
  • Goji berries can be substituted with dried cranberries or mulberries.
  • If smoked paprika is not available, use sweet paprika.
  • This dish is fantastic served hot or cold.