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Quinoa Help

Hi! After deciding to cut back on my pasta intake I have been experimenting with different grains and really enjoy quinoa. I find it to be more filling than pasta and enjoy the nutty aspect. I need some help with easy new recipes. So far I have using it as a side dish just cooked in stock or in a tabouleh. I would love some new ways to use this besides just a side dish. Thanks!

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  1. Lots of great ideas here:


    You can also try searching title:quinoa for some other threads. Enjoy - I love the stuff, and should make it more often. Have you tried the red quinoa? I have some but haven't used it yet.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Great! Thanks. I did do a board search but the first 2 pages of results just mentioned the word quinoa somewhere in a post so I gave up. I have not tried the red but I will have to. I have been only been using the Bob's Red Mill Organic brand. When I first bought a bag I was living in upstate NY it was $2 at Big Lot's type of store. Now it costs $8+ a bag here in MN. Are there other brands that are better or should be tried?

      1. re: phimoez

        I'll have to check the brand of red that I have - I think I'm out of the other one. And, the search function using title:xyz is really great.

        1. re: phimoez

          i know WFM carries the Ancient Harvest brand - check your local store to see if they stock the red variety.

      2. Good as pilaf with bell peppers, carrots, peas, onion, garlic, pine nuts, etc. Good mixed with black beans, tomatoes, and guacamole. There's a recipe in one of our cookbooks (Lorna Sass, I think) for quinoa with green beans and basil. Good in soup. Good with Sunshine burgers. Also a breakfast option with dried fruit and/or nuts, and cinnamon. One minute at high pressure in a pressure cooker makes it convenient. It's also got a low glycemic index and relatively high protein. Whole Foods Market carries it in bulk but the price has gone up here (MA) recently, too. TJ's carries it boxed.

        I'm gluten-free so we make quinoa flour to use in muffins, bread, etc.

        1. I recently made a great quinoa "salad" with quinoa (cooked in water spiked with veggie stock), red onion, red pepper, yellow pepper,corn, jalapeno and fresh cilantro. For a dressing, I just mixed lemon and lime juice with cumin.

          You might also want to try toasting your quinoa before you rinse it- if you dry toast it in a frying pan until it's golden brown it gets a much nuttier flavour.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jetgirly

            That sounds great! My quinoa is already rinsed. Do you think that it could still be toasted or would that distort the flavor?

            1. re: Jetgirly

              I love quinoa, however I find it quite plain. My favorite recipes for it usually involve doucing it with flavor....here are a couple of my favorites:

              pesto quinoa:
              sautee diced onions until translucent, add cooked quinoa into skillet, add a jar of pesto (the amount depends on how much quinoa you have). toss to coat & warm. add a few cloves minced garlic, top with parm. This dish is delicious served on top of grilled halved marinated beefsteak tomatoes

              the following is a link to a sauce that tastes amazing on quinoa. Asian Cilantro Sauce


              PS. I cook my quinoa in the rice cooker, and have stopped rinsing like I used to. The ratio for water is the same as rice.

            2. The other day I made quinoa with some green vegetables and threw in a bunch of pomegranate seeds on a whim. That was a fun way to add sweetness with that nice burst. I didn't cook the seeds, just tossed them in when the quinoa was done cooking.

              I used to think quinoa was really hard to make but it isn't!

              1. I usually buy red quinoa from the bulk section. It's a lot cheaper that way, but it's not rinsed. Sometimes Whole Foods has it on sale- 3 boxes for $5. You can basically put anything on it- quinoa absorbs flavor and tastes awesome cold the next day. I love it with lime juice, chili powder, and black beans. Sometimes I add pesto and kalamata olives or chopped tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. My husband likes it with teriyaki sauce, roasted garlic, and cranberries. If you're not sure what you want to add to it, cook up a big batch and separate it into small bowls. In each bowl try out a different type of recipe. That way, you'll see what you like and what you don't without wasting a whole batch of expensive quinoa.

                4 Replies
                1. re: cheesecake17

                  try searching under allrecipes.com....there are lots of recipes for adding it in soups and stuffing various things. There is a recipe in the Veganomicon for quinoa pineapple stir-fry. It has cashews and some other stuff. Pretty tasty but a little acidic for my heartburn-prone self :)

                  1. re: jenwee

                    Do you have the recipe for the pineapple quinoa stir fry? I would love to try it. And I have quinoa, pineapple, and cashews in the house!

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      1 cup quinoa
                      1 cup pineapple juice
                      1 cup cold water
                      1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
                      4 ounces raw unsalted cashews
                      3 tablespoons peanut oil
                      2 scallions, sliced thinly
                      2 garlic cloves, minced
                      1 hot red chili pepper, sliced into very thin rounds
                      1/2 inch piece gingerroot, peeled and minced
                      1 red bell pepper, diced
                      1 cup edamame, cooked
                      1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced into thin shreds
                      2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
                      2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into bite-size chunks
                      3 tablespoons soy sauce
                      3 tablespoons vegetable stock
                      1 tablespoon mirin
                      lime wedge (to garnish)
                      PREPARE THE QUINOA FIRST: Combine the quinoa, juice, water, and soy sauce in a medium-sized pot. Cover, place over high heat,and bring to a boil. Stir a few times, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa appears plumped and slightly translucent. Uncover, fluff, and let cool. For best results,place the quinoa in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. (I didnt do this so it was kinda sticky)

                      If you're in a hurry, chill the covered quinoa for at least an hour. When ready to use, break up any chunks of the cold quinoa with a fork.

                      PREPARE THE STIR-FRY; Use the largest nonstick skillet you have (at least 11 inches in diameter) or a wok. Place the cashews in the dry pan and heat over low heat, stirring them, until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Remove the cashews from the pan, raise the heat to medium, and add the peanut oil, scallions, and garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the sliced chile pepper and ginger. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes, then add the red bell pepper and edamame. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes, until the bell pepper is softened and edamame is bright green.

                      Add the basil and mint, and stir for another minute before adding the pineapple and quinoa. In a measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vegetable stock, and mirin. Pour over the quinoa mixture.
                      Stir to incorporate completely and coat the quinoa. Continue to stir-fry for 10 to 14 minutes, until the quinoa is very hot (it helps to use two spoons/ spatulas to scoop the quinoa around). Serve with lime wedges and additional soy sauce, to season individual servings to taste.

                      1. re: jenwee

                        Yum! Thanks so much for the recipe! I just need to get some fresh basil tonight, otherwise I have all the ingredients.

                        I like my quinoa kind of sticky/mushy so I probably won't chill it.

                2. Quinoa is pretty awesome. I love its versatility.

                  I made this recipe recently with a few additions (garbanzos, red bell pepper, garlic) and it turned out wonderful.
                  Spiced Carrot and Zucchini Quinoa
                  Here are some recipes for dishes that I can't wait to make in the coming months. True 'cold weather food'.
                  Warm Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

                  Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stewhttp://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views...

                  Autumn Quinoa and Butter Beans

                  Two fairly simple preparations for quinoa:
                  Curried Quinoa Salad with Mango
                  Lemon-Scented Quinoa With Tahini & Chickpeas

                  1. There is a show on BBC America that I love to watch called You Are What You Eat. They often show quinoa being eating for breakfast in a sort of porridge. I am intrigued by eating quinoa for breakfast. Has anyone tried this before or heard of it?

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: phimoez

                      I have some quinoa flakes that I eat like oatmeal for breakfast. Its pretty good, its quick - the amount of protein means I make it awhile til I have to eat again. I also use the quinoa flakes in cookies and as a coating on baked items instead of bread crumbs

                      1. re: coastie

                        That is why I am interested in trying it for breakfast. I am a super snacker and think it would really help curb my morning snacks. I have never been a breakfast eater but am trying to change that because I am crashing by 10am. I like the idea of using the flakes as breadcrumbs too.

                        1. re: phimoez

                          I've seen recipes for quinoa made oatmeal style. I've never tried it, but I do enjoy eating leftover savory quinoa for breakfast. It keeps me full for a really long time.

                      2. re: phimoez

                        I eat quinoa flakes for breakfast. The kind I buy has a recipe on the side of the box to make it into porridge. Then I put a big glob of yogurt in the middle and sprinkle some berries on top. YUM! Very filling and keeps you going all morning!

                        1. re: phimoez

                          It's in my regular breakfast rotation. I just cook up a batch of 4 1/2 cup servings. In the morning, I add milk, cinnamon, Splenda, maple syrup, dried cranberries, and walnut bits. Then microwave it for about a minute. It's really tasty and filling.


                          BTW, I love You Are What You Eat!

                          1. re: grrlscout

                            that's how i do it, too! i find that the flavor goes really well with dried tart cherries.

                          2. re: phimoez

                            There is also Mesa Sunrise cold cereal which contain quinoa...second from the left on the bottom on this link. We have it with vanilla almond or vanilla rice mylk.

                            1. re: lgss

                              I absolutely love that cereal. Nature's Path makes really good cereals- the millet / brown rice one is great too.

                              1. re: Jetgirly

                                i have lgss to thank for turning me on to Mesa Sunrise. took me nearly a year to get around to trying it, but now i'm hooked. it's the only packaged GF cereal worth eating. thanks for the rec, lgss! i owe you for that one :)

                                ok, staying on topic, the quinoa flakes discussed up-thread are also a nice alternative to oats when you want to add some texture to baked goods. they're not as hearty, but they do lend a nice nuttiness to the overall flavor.

                                1. re: Jetgirly

                                  Unfortunately for those of us who are gluten-free, the millet/brown rice one contains barley malt, so is not GF :-(

                                  1. re: lgss

                                    Oops, and the Mesa Sunrise contains amaranth, not quinoa. My confusion.

                                    1. re: lgss

                                      it does contain some quinoa, but it's mostly buckwheat & amaranth. regardless, it's undoubtedly the best gluten-free AND soy-free cereal out there...aside from my homemade granola, of course ;)

                              2. re: phimoez

                                There's this recipe from 101 cookbooks for Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa:


                              3. The NY Times "Recipes for Health" feature focuses on quinoa this week.

                                Below are the links to yesterday's and today's recipes. There should be a new one each day this week.