Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quinoa Recipes

Looks like our beautiful southern state of Georgia decided it wanted to step outside of its normal, reliable self and grace our landscape with 6+ inches of snow.  If that was not out of the box enough, the next day a nice layer of ice was added to the top of the snow.  Just walking down our driveway is a feat.

Can I just say I am thankful I actually wrote a meal plan and went grocery shopping?  It’s paying off now!  I’m hoping the ice has melted enough by tomorrow to make a trip to Publix before the sale ends.  Time will tell.

If you’re a foodie blog reader I’m sure you have heard of quinoa by now.   It seems to be the latest and greatest healthy ingredient to use in place of pasta or rice.  I have tried quinoa twice over the past month and I really like it!  The great thing about quinoa is that is provides a high level of protein because it supplies all nine essential amino acids.  It also has a great dose of fiber and antioxidants!  I’ve noticed after eating it that I stay full for quite some time as well, which is great for people that are trying to lose weight.  I have found quinoa at my local Whole Foods and I have also found it online at Swanson Health Products.

The first recipe I found online at Frugal, Fun and Fortune I modified the recipe a bit to suit what I had on hand.

Southwestern Quinoa Casserole

3/4 cup quinoa
14 oz can tomatoes with chilies
1 can black beans, drained (see here how to cook your own black beans)
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp of coriander
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican cheese
sour cream/salsa

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer.  Minus  the cheese, sour cream and salsa, throw all ingredients in a 2 qt casserole dish and mix up evenly.
Cover with foil and cook for about 30 minutes.  Remove foil and stir.  Cook uncovered for an additional 20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.  Cover the top with a nice layer of cheese.  Cook/broil until cheese is melted. Garnish with sour cream/salsa and serve with tortilla chips!

This next recipe I found in Publix's Greenwise magazine.  I changed this a bit to suit what I had on hand as well.  This is a very fresh tasting meal.  I made it for a light lunch, but I also think it could be great with some fish or chicken as a main entrĂ©e.

Bean and Basil Quinoa Salad

1 cup fresh basil leaves (this is very important to get fresh.  I found it in my store's produce aisle)
2 TBSP feta cheese or grated parmesan cheese (I used parmesan)
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced (I used garlic powder, but try to use fresh garlic!)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups cooked quinoa (see below for recipe)
15 oz red kidney beans rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped yellow sweet pepper
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1.2 cup sliced green onions

Place basil in a food processor. Add feta, lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and black pepper. Process until nearly smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed; set aside. 

In a medium bowl stir together cooked quinoa, beans, sweet pepper, tomato and green onions. Add basil mix; stir to coat. 

Serve quinoa mixture over torn lettuce. 

Makes 6 side-dish servings (2/3 cup quinoa mixture and 2/3 cup lettuce). 

Nutrition Facts per serving: 178 cal., 6 g total fat (1 g sat fat), 3 mg chol., 244 mg sodium, 24 g carb., 8 g dietary fiber, 8 g protein. Exchanges: 1.5 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat. 

To cook quinoa:
For 2 cups cooked quinoa, in a strainer rinse ½ cup quinoa under cold running water; drain. In a small saucepan combine 1¼ cups water, quinoa and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool slightly and drain. 


  1. Good to know. I've been meaning to make this stuff for a long time now!

    How do you pronounce it? I tried to see if thtey had it at Wal-Mart but I couldn't remember how to say it.

  2. ladaisi, it's pronounced Keen-wa. I have to laugh because we pronounced it wrong for about a year after we started eating it.

    We love quinoa! Your Southwest Quinoa Casserole looks yummy. I am bookmarking it to try next week. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I have a box of quinoa in the pantry for a while...now Iknow what to make! :D

    I'm having the very first GIVEAWAY on my blog. Please stop by to submit an entry. Good luck.


  4. You should come by this weekend and share this at the Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent recipe hop.

    Saturday party, link opens fri eve.
    Love the salad!