Protein can come from many sources. We usually think of animals providing protein and they are a good source, but they're not the only one. It's also available in plants and seeds and nuts. Today we'll focus on a seed source called quinoa ("keenwah").
What is quinoa? It is a seed in the amaranth family
How do you prepare it? Rinse, boil, drain, fluff
Why should I try it? Good source of protein, fiber, potassium & other nutrients
What kind of recipe uses quinoa? Look below
See other benefits at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-quinoa
CINNAMON BREAKFAST QUINOA
Start your day off right with this sweet quinoa. Make sure to use Ceylon cinnamon for the most benefit.
Heaping 2 tablespoons chopped raw pecans
1 ½ teaspoons coconut oil
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
Tiny pinch of salt
1 cup pre-cooked quinoa* (either chilled or warm from cooking—both will work)
1 tablespoon maple syrup, more if desired
Toppings and optional accompaniments
1 tablespoon chopped dried cherries or dried cranberries
Hemp seeds, chia seeds or flax seeds (optional), for serving
Milk or yogurt of choice (totally optional), for serving
First, toast the pecans before we add the remaining ingredients. To do so, warm the pecans in a small saucepan (use a larger saucepan if you are making multiple servings) over medium heat, shimmying the pan often, until the pecans smell fragrant and toasty, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Add the coconut oil, cinnamon and salt to the pot. While stirring constantly, cook until the cinnamon is fragrant, about 15 seconds.
Add the quinoa to the pot and stir to combine. Cook, while stirring constantly, just until the quinoa is warmed through, about a minute or so. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the maple syrup.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and top with dried fruit and a hefty sprinkle of hemp seeds, if using. Top with a light sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve promptly, with additional maple syrup and milk or yogurt on the side, if you’d like.
MOCHA LATTE BREAKFAST QUINOA
You won't need a separate cup of coffee with this breakfast bowl.
cup quinoa, rinsed and uncooked
1 heaping cup brewed coffee
1 heaping cup coconut water
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut cream (topping)
in a medium size sauce pan, bring 1 cup quinoa, 1 heaping cup brewed coffee, 1 heaping cup coconut water, and 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips to a rolling boil.
Then, turn down to low, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa thickens and the liquid is almost gone.
QUINOA KALE PESTO BOWL
This recipe could be used for any meal of the day. It's got everything.
1 cup quinoa
½ cup kale pesto (to make kale pesto use this recipe)
Zest of one lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
Place quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the drained quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, letting the water evaporate.
Add 2 cups of water and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Bring to a rolling boil, lower to a simmer (turn heat down to the lowest setting), cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 more minutes, covered.
Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork (you should see tiny spirals separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds.)
Combine cooked quinoa with kale pesto, and mix to coat the quinoa thoroughly.
Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Divide quinoa among separate bowls.
Top off quinoa with lemon zest, chopped walnuts and red pepper flakes.
Make poached eggs and serve them over quinoa bowls. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the eggs and serve!
QUINOA PIZZA CRUST
I'm so happy to see alternatives to a basic wheat crust. Try this seed crust with your next pizza craving.
3/4 cup quinoa covered by 1" of water and soaked for 6 - 8 hours (or overnight)
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Soak the quinoa in water, covering it by at least 1", for 6 - 8 hours.
Once you're ready to make the crust, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 9" cake pan with parchment paper and drizzle one tablespoon of oil in the center. Spread around with your hands until evenly coated and set pan aside.
Thoroughly rinse quinoa, then add to a blender. Add the 1/4 cup of water, baking powder, salt and remaining olive oil, and blend on high until smooth and creamy. This should resemble a thick pancake batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove, flip and return to oven baking for another 10 - 15 minutes until browned and edges are crispy.
QUINOA DESSERT BITES
Don't forget about dessert. These little gems are good for that sweet treat or snack.
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 cup oats, dry
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/2 cup, quartered or chopped apple
1/2 cup coconut flakes
2 large egg
1/2 cup baking chocolate, unsweetened, squares
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, add your cooked quinoa, oats, and chopped fruit. In a separate smaller mixing bowl, combine your cinnamon, sugar and salt. Add the spice mixture to the quinoa and oats. Stir in your chopped fruit. Once combined add the eggs, and mix just until combined.
Scoop into a sprayed mini muffin tin, making sure the pan is thoroughly sprayed.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, and let cool
Place chocolate squares in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on low 2-3 minutes until melted.
Dip the dessert bites in chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool.
These recipes give you an idea of how to use quinoa in every meal of the day. If you can cook rice, you can cook quinoa. Make it sweet or savory and pair it with just about anything. It all starts with a tiny little seed.
Here's to your health! Happy Cooking!