Quinoa Recipes

By: Ron Lagerquist

"Two of the tastiest Quinoa recipes in the world. You have got to try them!"

Quinoa has to be our favorite cooked food. Although you cook quinoa just like rice, it is actually in the fruit family. Quinoa is easily digested, the least mucus-forming of all grains and requires little cooking time, about 35 minutes. Quinoa is the food that is most like mother’s milk in nutritional properties. A cup of cooked quinoa is equivalent to a quart of milk in calcium. This is also a more digestible form of calcium. It is about 6% higher in protein than wheat, barley, corn and rice. The quality of this protein is what makes quinoa so exciting. All essential amino acids are present and are considered to be in perfect balance. Quinoa is high in lysine, an essential amino acid that is scarce in the plant kingdom. It is also high in essential sulfur-bearing amino acids, methionine and cystine. Quinoa is an excellent source of phosphorus, vitamin E, several B complex vitamins and iron. Its low gluten content is a disadvantage when trying to make bread. 
You can find organic quinoa at your local health food store. It is only starting to be introduced into mainline supermarkets. Look for a plump, clean, light ivory-colored grain. Once you find a good source of quality quinoa, it will be well worth your time and money, and may become your favorite grain. The darker brown quinoa is grown in California and does not seem to have the quality of flavor as the lighter colored quinoa. Some lower-priced quinoa will have the presence of a brown, powdery residue. Rinse thoroughly before cooking because this saponin powder has a bitter, soapy flavor, and gives the quinoa a sticky texture.

There are three different varieties of quinoa that vary in flavor, texture and color. The highest quality quinoa is called Altiplano which is the purest strain and is grown in Bolivia and Peru, 12,500 feet above sea level. The result is a sweet, delicate ivory seed that is more expensive but well worth the cost. The second grade is called Valley variety which is also mountain-raised, but at 7,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level. This variety is commonly grown in Peru, Ecuador and Columbia. The quality of Valley variety is not as good as Altiplano because farming methods can often be primitive. The lower altitude results in a more yellow color and is 50 to 60 cents cheaper. The lowest grade quinoa is called Sea Level, describing where it is grown. This results in brownish-colored seeds and tends to be bitterer than mountain-grown quinoa. It may be half the price of high quality quinoa, but the savings are not worth the loss in taste. Always store quinoa in the refrigerator because of its high oil content.


Quintessential Quinoa 

Serves 8

This is a perfect recipe as a first introduction to healthy eating even for the hardcore junk food addict. It’s simply tastes scrumptious. Stacy and I enjoy watching suspicion melt into surprise, wow this is really good! And the Mc-numbed taste buds of kids seem to easily except this savory treat. Best not to tell them how nutritious Quinoa is until after they have had their first bite.

4 med. yellow onions, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. of sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups of rinsed Quinoa
4 cups of water
2 vegetarian soup stock cubes

Add finely chopped onions, minced garlic, and salt to olive oil in wok and sauté until onions are slightly brown. Then add chopped red pepper and continue to sauté until onions are caramelized. Add water, stock cubes and rinsed quinoa and bring to a simmer. Stir once after five minutes then simmer for 35 minutes or until water has been cooked in.

 Tip: Try laying about a cup of hot quinoa on a bed of spring mix salad, then pour Yeast Feast Flax Dressing over the top. Is it just me, or is this not the best tasting, guiltless thing you have ever put into your mouth!

Quinoa Fun Fruit Dessert 

Serves 3

1 cup quinoa
4 or 5 chopped dates
2 cups grape juice
1/2 cup of raisins

Cook mixture together. Serve hot or cold. Sliced frozen banana can be added just before serving.

Related Article: Healthy Quinoa

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Your Comments
Savory sounded better than sweet. What could be used instead of dates for those who have a food sensitivity to them?
Savory sounded better than sweet. What could be used instead of dates for those who have a food sensitivity to them?
Looking for a couple of really good Quinoa recipes. The information on Quinoa is great...too bad people don't have an open mind to trying new things - at least that's my experience. Thank you
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