Quinoa

5 Tasty Ways To Cook Quinoa

Include this healthy wholegrain, superfood into your weekly diet to benefit from the large volumes of calcium, vitamin E, and did we mention that it’s also gluten-free?

Even though quinoa is so healthy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is tastes bad. If you want to start cooking with quinoa, pair it with these tasty dishes which are nothing to be feared.

RELATED: Quinoa and Goji Berry Breakfast Cookies

Black bean wrap

Use one cup of dry quinoa with boiled black beans, feta cheese, and avocado for a quick snack which is perfect if you’re on-the-go. The meal is filling enough for dinner or lunch, and is best stored in an air-tight container for freshness.

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Chicken

Quinoa can be used in lieu of rice or couscous, without the extra fatty feeling on your hips. This particular meal uses spicy charcoal chicken breast, fresh vegetables and fluffy quinoa – yum!

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Egg and broccoli breakfast bowls

Treat yourself to a luxurious Sunday brunch made with spinach, fried eggs, broccoli and fluffy quinoa. It’s the perfect alternative to a standard porridge dish.

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Butternut squash salad

If you’re giving your body a bit of a carbohydrate detox, then a salad is always a great option. This beauty combines roasted squash, quinoa, capsicum and coriander for an aromatic dish which works well as tomorrows leftovers.

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Quinoa bars

Indulge in delicious breakfast bars with all of your favourites including chocolate chips, fruits, muesli and healthy quinoa. Prepare the bars the night before, and store them in the fridge for that fresh crunch.

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Images via Skinny Mom, Half baked Harvest, The Cafe Sucre Farine, Delicious As It Looks, ETC All The Rest

Simon Ward’s Healthy Quinoa Bircher Muesli Recipe

If you’re looking for a healthy quinoa bircher muesli that tastes great and fits with your post-holiday meal plan, Simon Ward, Executive Chef at Hammer and Tong, has created a recipe that’s packed with superfood goodness. With a mix of quinoa, oats, goji berries and coconut, this wholesome meal is the perfect way to kick-start your Monday and keep those energy levels high.

RELATED: Homemade Muesli Bars Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups Rolled oats

1⁄2 cup Red quinoa

1⁄2 cup Black quinoa

1⁄4 cup golden raisins

1⁄4 cup goji berries

1⁄4 cup dried cranberries

1⁄4 cup currants

1⁄4 cup shredded coconut

1⁄4 cup slivered almonds

3 1⁄2 tblsp coconut sugar

Pinch ground cinnamon

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 3⁄4 cup Apple juice

1 1⁄2 cup coconut milk

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients except for the coconut sugar.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients and coconut sugar. Use a whisk to ensure there are no lumps of sugar, and that it is fully dissolved in the liquid.
  3. Combine all together, mixing to ensure that there are no areas of dry ingredients separate from wet ingredients. This should resemble a textured wet cake mix.
  4. Cover with a cartouche and leave to absorb in the fridge overnight – this will stop a crust forming on the top from air drying it out. A cartouche can be made from either using baking paper or glad wrap touching the top of the mixture. The difference in the mixture once it is ready will be visual. You should be able to tell that all of the fruits and oats have absorbed the liquid of which there will not be a huge excess.
  5. Serve bircher muesli with fresh natural yogurt and some berry compote (a nice reduced sauce of mixed berries and a small amount of sugar).

Chicken With Mushroom Quinoa Recipe

The Golden Door Health Retreat And Spa have been generous enough to provide us with some amazing recipes to pass on to our readers looking to add extra health and vitality to their to-do list for the end of 2014. Nutritious and delicious – what more could you want?

RELATED: Tried And Tested: Golden Door Health Retreat

Serves 4

Ingredients

100g (1/2cup) quinoa

4 125g (4 1/2 oz) chicken breast, skin removed

1/2 tsp salt and smoked paprika mix

1/4 tsp mustard seed oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 small onion, chopped

45g (1/2 cup) chopped mushrooms

125ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock

Juice of 4 apples (approx 375mls or 11/2 cups)

2 tsp of balsamic vinegar

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced

2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

zest and juice of 1 lemon

Method

  1. Wash the quinoa in plenty of cold water and drain. Put in a pan with 250ml (1 cup) of water. Bring to the boil and  then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 10-12 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sprinkle the chicken breast with paprika seasoning. Heat a non-stick frying pan and add the chicken to the dry pan. Cook for 2 minutes to sear, then turn over and sear the other side. Transfer the chicken to a paper-lined baking tray and bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Put the mustard seed oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the mustard seeds. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Add the mushrooms, stock and cook until the stock has reduced by half. Add the apple juice and cook for 15 minutes until reduced by half. Add the vinegar, season with salt and pepper and stir in quinoa.
  4. Toss together the tomatoes, parsley, lemon zest and juice. Serve the quinoa topped with the chicken and the tomato salad.

Nutrition per serve

  • Energy: 1347kj (322 cals)
  • Protein: 32g
  • Total fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrate: 27g
  • Fibre: 4g
  • Sodium: 95mg

Indian Spiced Quinoa With Chicken Recipe

Most of the world’s quinoa comes from the mountain regions of Peru and Bolivia where it originated from thousands of years ago and it is a nutritious seed which contains more protein than any other grain it is often compared to.   This is one of the reasons why it has been labelled as a superfood. Quinoa is high in fibre to keep your digestive system regular and is great for keeping your blood sugar levels in check.  It contains nine essential amino acids, iron, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and much more so consider adding some quinoa to your diet today to reap the benefits of this superfood.

RELATED: See how quinoa compares to other healthy grains here

This Indian spiced quinoa recipe is healthy, easy to prepare, full of flavour and you can have it on your dinner table in less than 35 minutes.

Ingredients:

Peanut oil

1 tbsp black mustard seeds

12 fresh curry leaves

2 tsp garam masala

3 long chillies, seeds removed, thinly sliced

1 large onion, diced

1 ½ cups quinoa

½ cup green split peas

3 cups chicken stock

1 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken

80g baby spinach, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil over a medium heat and cook mustard seeds until they begin to pop.
  2. Add curry leaves, garam masala, chilli and onion and cook until onion is tender.
  3. Add quinoa and split peas then stir to coat in spice mixture.
  4. Add stock and 1 cup of boiling water then simmer over a low heat for 25 minutes.
  5. Add chicken and spinach and heat until chicken is heated through.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Image via taste.com.au

5 Ways To Eat Quinoa

While you’ve probably heard about quinoa (pronounced keen-wha) and of it’s various health benefits before, there is really no reason why you shouldn’t adapt this whole grain into your diet. Not only is it packed with protein, but has a texture which is similar to couscous and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Stuffed vegetables

Quinoa makes for a really tasty and filling stuffing, especially if you don’t plan on using rice. Why not try quinoa and mushroom with stuffed zucchini or even with tomatoes and peppers!

Salad

Add some quinoa into your usual salad for a pop of nutty flavour and texture, which will surely keep you full for longer. Pair with fruits such as grapes, strawberries and blueberries for a sweet and savoury flavour.

Eggs

Try quinoa for breakfast as a tasty side to your boiled egg, avocado and tomato! The high protein found in quinoa will keep you from snacking on fatty foods, since it is super filling (especially when paired with an egg!).

Fruit and nut bars

Create your very own homemade quinoa fruit and nut bars to snack on whenever you’re feeling that 3:30itis come around the corner. This is a perfect alternative to fatty foods since they are gluten-free, and loaded with vitamins and essential nutrients to keep your body satisfied.

Breakfast bowl

Can’t get your hands on some genuine acai berries? Why not try a quinoa breakfast bowl which is quick, easy and extremely healthy for your body! Add some of your favourite fruits such as blackberries and blueberries for extra taste and colour with some Greek yoghurt for that genuine savoury taste.

How do you enjoy quinoa?

Images via He Needs Food

Kale, Sweet Potato and Hazelnut Salad Recipe

Create this delicious lunch meal by adding your favourite vegetables, nuts and fruits to really customise this fulfilling dish. Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to the starchy potato since they are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, copper and even vitamin B6 which is essential for producing red blood cells.

Ingredients

80g kale, stalks removed

40g red quinoa

40g black quinoa

100g sweet potato

15g roasted hazelnut, mashed

10g toasted coconut

15g goji berries

100g hazelnut dressing

10g salt for cooking quinoa

40g coconut oil

1/2 ripe avocado

Hazelnut dressing (optional):

40g roasted hazelnut

5g maple syrup

25g red wine vinegar

75g olive oil

2 tablespoons hazelnut oil

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC and pop the coconut in for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, then combine with the roasted hazelnuts before setting aside.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and then cut into small cubes (2-3cm). Toss into a bowl with 20g of coconut oil, salt/pepper and then put them into the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Combine the red and black quinoa into a pot with water and 1 teaspoon of sea-salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Chop the avocado into cubes, remove the stalks from the kale and cut into 2cm chiffonade.
  5. Combine the kale, sweet potato, quinoa, avocado and hazelnut dressing and massage softly with coconut oil. Top with roasted hazelnuts, coconut flakes and goji berries before serving.

Image and Recipe via Sous Style

Angelina Jolie Following Ancient Grain Diet

You’ve heard about the health benefits of quinoa and chia seeds, and here’s another good reason to eat more of them.

Angelina Jolie has started following an ancient grain diet not just for the nutrients, but for the amazing beauty benefits. Apparently eating quinoa, millet, chia seeds, spelt, farro and buckwheat leaves you with glowing skin – hey, we’re sold!

Jolie, who has just left Australia after filming Unbroken and is settling with Brad Pitt and the kids in South Africa, has been snacking on the grains, as well as nuts and seeds, and incorporating them into her daily meal plans.

Nutritionists rave about ancient grains, as they have not been processed like the wheat, corn and rice products we eat today. They have retained essential nutrients, are low in GI and provide many more health benefits than today’s common grains.

Make one of our favourite easy dinner ideas, one-pot farro, tonight!

Forget celebrity diets – we already love ancient grains and their nutty, chewy flavours, but if it can get us gorgeous skin and hair like Angelina’s, we’ll help ourselves to an extra serving! 

Do you eat ancient grains? What are your favourite recipes?

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