Tuesday, 22 October 2013 22:29

Basics for fantastic recipes with quinoa

Quinoa – it’s the new (mysterious) super food which looks and acts like a grain but is actually the seed of a plant that is closely related to spinach.  Nobody should be left without at least a few good recipes with quinoa.

The health benefits of recipes with quinoa

Quinoa is one of the protein – richest foods we can eat.  It also contains iron, and fiber – almost twice as much as other grains, lysine which is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair as well as magnesium and B2 which  improves the energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells.

It is small and round, looks a bit like couscous and cooks like rice. The only thing that’s different when making recipes with quinoa is that it needs a good rinse before boiling to take away any bitterness. Toasting it in a pan also works for this as shown in this cooking video. It tastes slightly nutty and is a great way of getting a serving of whole grains albeit being gluten-free.

Here a great intro to quinoa by bbc’s good food  food glossary that’ll make discovering recipes with quinoa even easier

Quinoa is a great salad ingredient – cook it, let it cool and mix it with whatever you are in the mood for. It’ll be a bit like making pasta salad…

Here some ideas for salad recipes with quinoa

  • With chick peas and poached spinach (dipped in hot water)
  • With dried fruits and nuts (apricots and pistachios, cranberries and sunflower seeds)
  • With leek and cooked or smoked chicken or turkey strips
  • Mexican-style with beans, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers
  • Italian-style with sundried tomatoes and basil
  • Greek-style with feta, black olives, red onions and oregano
  • Asian-style with bok choy and Shiitake mushrooms
  • Middle Eastern-style with pomegranate seeds and parsley, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and coriander
  • Mediterranean-style with water melon and mint
  • With roasted garlic, cherry tomatoes and raw spinach
  • Tabouleh with finely chopped parsley, cucumbers and tomatoes

Obviously you can try out any variation of ingredients and enjoy it cold or warm. For a dressing for your new salad recipe with quinoa you may want to stick to a traditional one with lemon juice, olive oil, salt or, depending on the chosen ingredients/cuisine you could add one or several ingredients to your dressings:

  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine or sesame oil
  • Orange juice or balsamico vinegar
  • Mustard, fresh ginger

Get some inspiration for more dressign ingredients from this list of 50 different dressings

Here some ideas for warm main dish recipes with quinoa:

It’ll be like cooking with rice or couscous. Obviously it’s a perfect side dish on its own but you could also try the following:

  • Stuffed vegetables like squash or zucchini or tomatoes
  • Gratins with vegetables like broccoli, chards or cauliflower, potatoes, cheese, eggs
  • Chili with beans and tomato sauce
  • Indian-style with curry and yoghurt on the side
  • Asian-style with a stir fry
  • In a vegetable, meat of chicken stew

Discovering the deliciousness of recipes with quinoa will  make you want to discover more delicious, healthy options so go and have some fun!  Have a look here at some picturesque ideas for morerecipes with quinoa.

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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