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All the rage: Quinoa & 3 fresh recipes

May 2, 2011

Quin-what?? That’s what I said when I started hearing all sorts of buzz about this grain-like crop from South America. Lately, friends have been sharing recipes and offering up unique ideas on how to incorporate quinoa into soups, salads, stews, etc. So why not feature some of those here and now?

I’ve yet to cook with quinoa, but for no other reason than because I suffer from short-term memory loss so every time I go to the grocery store I completely forget to hunt it down and buy some. But as soon as I get my hands on it and find the inspiration to play around with recipes, I will let you know how it turns out.

In the meantime, I want to leave you with a few options to try on your own (and please, PLEASE, leave me comments so I can build from your experiences!).

Quinoa with Veggies

This comes courtesy of I always recommend scrolling down and reading the comments at the bottom to help you with making tweaks & changes that might improve upon the original recipe.

Kathy’s Quinoa and Greens Salad

My good friend Kathy made this delicious and unique salad for our Easter brunch get together this year and it was divine! A real burst of complementary flavours in every bite.

– 1 1/2 cups  cold cooked quinoa ( I found a different way to cook it instead of using 1:2 ratio use 1:1/4 ratio, once boiled reduce heat to very low, cook 30 min, let sit for 5 min with lid on then fluff with fork) makes it much fluffier.

– Prepare salad while quinoa is cooking; when quinoa is finished drain and rinse in cold water.

– Cauliflower ( about 1/4 of head) into small pieces.
– Handful of fresh green beans
– Avocado
– Orange pepper
– half bosc pear
– 2 large handfuls of fresh, finely chopped spinach
– 2 to 3 sprigs of fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Blanch cauliflower and beans (3 min in boiling water then into ice bath). Cut beans, avocado, orange pepper, and pear into small bite size pieces. Add spinach and cilantro. Toss well!


Make a simple basic balsamic vinaigrette for this fresh salad: add a teaspoon “or so” of ground cumin and juice of a freshly squeezed lime to vinaigrette.

Mix all veggies and dressing onto a bowl mix well, then add quinoa. Sit back and and enjoy the praises of your friends who think you just might be a salad-making Goddess.

Sheila’s Mexican Quinoa

Love this recipe that my friend Sheila posted. Hoping she’ll play around with a few more so I can feature them here.  🙂

Use ground beef or turkey for this recipe (or I guess you could even use the veggie ground if you want to make it strictly vegetarian).

– 1lb ground beef (turkey/veggie/etc.)

– 1/2 cup chopped onion

– one 14-oz can diced tomatoes (with juice)

– one 4-oz can chopped chillies

– 1 cup quinoa

– 1 1/2 cup water

– 1 tbsp chili powder

– 1 tsp ground cumin


Brown ground beef/turkey and add onion. Dress excess fat.

Rinse quinoa in colander.

Add tomatoes, chillies, quinoa, water, and spices to ground beef/turkey mixture and simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes. If water evaporates too quickly, cover pan for remainder of cooking time and reduce heat slightly.

Serve it up and soak up the praises…

So how would you incorporate quinoa into your picky kid’s diet? If you have any ideas please leave them in the comments box below and remember to “subscribe” to this post so you can follow any follow-up comments. Happy experimenting!

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