Have you ever experimented with quinoa recipes and been disappointed with the results? If so, please don't be put off from making quinoa dishes again. It's such a nutritionally-dense, powerhouse of a seed (but typically used as a grain) that it's totally worth getting to grips with how to cook it and where to include and use it.
What Is Quinoa?
Firstly, quinoa is an ancient seed that was originally (several thousands of years ago) sacred to the Incas in Peru. Today you’ll find it high on the list of wholefood lovers and for good reason too.
There are 3 main types:
- White quinoa – White quinoa has a fluffy post-cook texture and is more similar in texture to rice.
- Red quinoa – Keeps more of its shape and colour after cooking. Red quinoa also has a heartier taste and chewier texture than the muted, bitter taste of white quinoa.
- Black quinoa – With a crunchier and sweeter flavour than the previous two variants, black quinoa is more of an acquired taste.
Read on for more on the health benefits of this amazing seed and 5 easy quinoa recipes.
The Health Benefits of Quinoa
- It’s one of the few plants considered to be a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of the proteins that make up your muscles, bones, skin, and blood. The nine classified as “essential” must be obtained from food daily. Your body is unable to produce or store them, and quinoa provides all nine.
- Quinoa is an excellent replacement for heavy carbs, as well as those suffering from digestive issues and gluten intolerances, or those wishing to avoid gluten altogether. In these instances, quinoa can add a somewhat revolutionary twist to your meal when you feel that there isn't much you can tolerate.
- Not only is this superfood quinoa a blood sugar blessing, it's phenomenally good for high-energy and it's definitely one for a healthy weight loss plan. Yep - it ticks the box of 3 top health concerns - blood sugar balance, sustained energy production and weight management.
5 Easy Quinoa Recipes
Now that you know how healthy quinoa is, I'm keen to share with you 5 quick and easy quinoa recipe ideas:
1. Adding Quinoa to Smoothies
Quinoa works amazingly well in smoothies. This fabulous alternative to oats has a neutral taste that doesn’t dominate the smoothie flavour.
The protein, iron and fibre content packs a nutritional punch and you can use it cooked or soaked. Personally, I prefer cooked quinoa.
To cook quinoa: put 1 cup of water to 1/2 a cup of quinoa in a saucepan and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until all the water has absorbed.
2. Quinoa Scramble Recipe
For a hearty breakfast, satisfying lunch or speedy supper:
Cook ½ a cup of quinoa and serve with 2 scrambled eggs, ½ an avocado and some chopped tomatoes marinated in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It's absolutely delicious!
3. Roasted Veggie Quinoa Recipe
Gather a selection of root vegetables (e.g. peppers, red onion, fennel, squash, courgette), plus a whole garlic for roasting. Chop all the vegetables into inch size pieces, mix with olive oil, salt and mixed herbs, then bake in the oven on 180 degrees C for approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in chicken stock.
Dressing - 1. Combine the veggies and quinoa with a dressing made of olive oil, fresh herbs, lemon juice and seasoning. 2. Or for another dressing variation - mix tamari, tahini and lemon juice.
This is a wonderful dessert if you fancy something sweet but healthy and energising.
An unbelievably tasty stew dinner that will make you feel nourished, especially in the colder months.
DID YOU MAKE ANY OF THESE QUINOA RECIPES?
If you make any of these quinoa recipes, please tag me in @nicolamonson on Instagram, and use the #nicolamonsonrecipes hashtag. I love seeing your recreations. And if you have any questions or comments feel free to add them below.
Happy quinoa recipe creation!
Hi, I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Pain & Stress Management Therapist, and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner.
I help people elevate their mind and body health by addressing diet, nutrition and lifestyle symptoms. Let's work together to optimize how you feel and function.
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