3 quinoa recipes that makes healthy food tasty

Only recently, we’ve been on the hunt for quinoa recipes that will make this healthy food packed full of high protein and nutrients delicious to eat on a daily basis. Like most people, you can get sick of eating the same thing every day. So the key for us is to find recipes that are healthy but at the same time taste real good.

Before moving to Ecuador we never had the luxury of eating quinoa because it’s always been too expensive and basically out of reach for us to eat on a regular basis. The hype of quinoa in the last few years has really bumped up the prices in Australia and other countries we’ve lived in.

Since living in Ecuador for the past few months however, we were pleasantly surprised at the prices of quinoa and the huge bounty full of quinoa available across Ecuador. Our local small grocery store about 5 minutes away from our house sells 500 grams for less than $2USD! This is compared to Sydney where quinoa can cost on average $15USD per kilo. Yikes!

Eating healthy food has always been a priority for the both of us, especially for me being vegetarian. It’s even more important now than ever because we are trying to have a baby and want everyone in the family to be healthy and happy. Having a good source of protein has been a little tricky for vegetarians but since having access to lots of quinoa, our meals have been pretty packed full of nutrients and might we say, our meals taste pretty dam good for healthy food.

How to cook quinoa?

Before we get into the quinoa recipes, we thought it might be a good idea to share with you the basic steps in cooking quinoa. It’s really simple as quinoa is very similar to rice, and therefore there’s a similar cooking method involved.

Step 1: Rinse your quinoa

We like to wash our quinoa under some water, to remove the natural coating called saponin, which can make the quinoa when cooked have a bitter taste. Since we also get it locally produced, we also like to clean it from anything that may be in the bag just in case.

Step 2: Boil quinoa for 15 minutes

Once you are done with that, you should use a similar ratio that of cooking rice; one part of quinoa equals to two parts of water. I normally cook 2 cups of quinoa and adds 4 cups of water. Since we eat quinoa everyday, making larger batches of it seemed more sensible. This is also a good time if you wanted to add any broth to the mix instead of water to add a nice flavor to it. I like to add a vegetable broth cube sometimes or just plain water.

Now you are ready to boil the quinoa. Let it cook on a medium level for about 15 minutes. Remember to leave the lid on it. You do not need to mix or stir the quinoa at all.

Step 3: Leave to absorb excess water

Once this is complete, you’ll notice that the quinoa opens and expands. Leave the lid on and let it absorb the remaining liquid for about 5 to 10 minutes. Your quinoa is then ready to be served as an alternative to rice or ready to be used with the following quinoa recipes.

3 quinoa recipes that you’ll love!

We eat quinoa ever day. In fact, our breakfast cereal contains quinoa and I always like to serve at least one meal with quinoa in addition to our breakfast. So we either have quinoa for lunch or for dinner. You might say we’ve gone quinoa mad, but eating so much quinoa has really allowed us to perfect a whole lot of quinoa recipes found online so much so that we would wanted to share with you how we enjoy our quinoa every week.

These quinoa recipes infuse a lot of healthy foods into your meals and can be made easily within 30 minutes (a lot less if you prepare your quinoa in larger batches). Please note that these quinoa recipes have been inspired by recipes and other dishes we’ve seen online. The exact way we have created them have been through our own preferences.

Quinoa Recipe One: Marinated roasted vegetable quinoa salad

This is one of our favorite meals to cook and eat of all time regardless of it containing quinoa. It’s packed full of flavor, vegetables and nutrients. It’s also super simple and easy to cook! The marinated roasted vegetable quinoa salad was inspired by all the other quinoa salad recipes out there. But man, every time we have this, it’s always filling and super delicious. You really can’t get this wrong.

Ingredients & Equipment

– 1 cup of quinoa

– 2 cups of water or broth

– 1 vegetable broth cube (if you are using water)

– 1 red capsicum

– 1 red onion

– 1-2 carrots

– 10-15 cherry tomatoes

– 1 handful of frozen or fresh peas

– 2 tablespoons of Olive oil

– 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

– 3 cloves of garlic or 2 tablespoons of minced garlic

– 1 handful of fresh rosemary

– 1 handful of thyme or parsley (which ever you have available)

– Salt and pepper to your liking

– 1 Glass tray or an oven approved tray

Crank up the heat and let’s begin!

Step 1: Turn your oven up to 200 Fahrenheit or 90 degrees to pre-heat your oven ready for the vegetables.

Get your quinoa cooking using the instructions from the top of the page. For this recipe, we suggest to add vegetable broth or a broth of your liking to add a bit more flavor to the salad.

Step 2: While your quinoa is cooking, cut up your vegetables in chunks. They don’t have to be neat or anything fancy. You just want to aim for bite sizes so they cook faster and so that every spoonful of your salad will be delicious. Slit the cherry tomatoes on the side. This will make sure that when they are cooking, they won’t explode in your oven and the juices will actually add another level of flavor to your marinated vegetables. For the carrots, you should cut them in smaller cubes to ensure that it’ll be crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside.

Step 3: Mix the olive oil, rosemary, balsamic vinegar, garlic and thyme in your oven tray. Throw your capsicum, cherry tomatoes and carrots in and lightly salt and pepper them. Make sure you mix your vegetables with a spoon to coat the vegetables with the mixture. Place them in the oven for 30 minutes and mix them thoroughly, occasionally stirring them about every 10 minutes.

Step 4: Your quinoa should now be cooked and set aside ready to be mixed with your vegetables. Take out your oven tray. Your carrots should be cooked all the way through and your capsicum slices should be soft and bright.

Step 5: Add the onions and peas in the tray. Add salt and pepper if required. Mix your vegetables well with the remaining dressing and put back in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Remember to stir mixture every 10 minutes.

Step 6: Once they are completely cooked, you can take them out of the oven. In a large bowl, pour the quinoa into the bowl and add the marinated vegetables. Mix the vegetables with the quinoa and serve with your choice of protein. For us we cook battered fish for Albie and for me, some delicious home made black bean patties.

Quinoa Recipe Two: Inspired fried rice using quinoa

Since we are both Asian, we know a thing or two about Asian dishes. An easy dish that has been done thousands of times by many food bloggers, cooks and food enthusiasts around the world is fried rice. It’s been reinvented with various rice substitutes including brown rice and cauliflower.

Today we are taking it to another level with quinoa and to be honest, we prefer it with quinoa than any other alternative of white rice. We’ve made a healthy spin to a traditional Asian dish that can often be too greasy, fatty and just plain unhealthy to eat everyday. Here’s our take on the fried rice using health foods like quinoa and avocado!

Ingredients & Equipment

– 1 cup of quinoa

– 2 cups of water or broth

– 1 vegetable broth cube (optional)

– 1 white onion

– 1 carrot

– 1 avocado (optional)

– 1 handful of frozen or fresh peas

– 2 eggs

– 1 tablespoon of sesame oil

– 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce

– 4 cloves of garlic

– 1 finely chopped spring onion

– 1 piece of ginger

– Pepper to your liking

– 1 wok or pan

Let’s start cooking!

Step 1: Prepare your quinoa beforehand and let it cook while you prepare the rest of the dish. Since we are adding soy sauce, you will not need to include the broth in your quinoa if you don’t want to. Start by cutting up your vegetables. Because we are going for a fried rice look and feel, you want to dice the white onion. Finely chop the spring onions, ginger and garlic, followed by cutting the carrots into small matchstick shapes.

Step 2: Before continuing, make sure your quinoa is finished cooking and leave it in the pot until needed. Heat your wok with the sesame oil on medium heat. When hot, put the garlic and onions in and stir until translucent and slightly brown. This should take about 5 minutes. We want the flavor to come through in the dish so it’s important to make sure the garlic and onion are nicely sauteed. We love having garlic so feel free to add more garlic than what we suggested.

Step 3: Put the ginger and carrots in and continue stirring for about 1 minute.

Step 4: Mix in your cooked quinoa and add the peas and pepper. Add the soy sauce and cook for 2 minutes.

Step 5: In a bowl, crack the two eggs and beat them using a fork. Move what’s in your wok on one side to make room for your eggs. Pour your eggs in the pan and stir to make scrabbled eggs. Alternatively you can cook the eggs on a separate pan and transfer them into your wok. Mix the egg in and add your freshly chopped spring onions.

Step 6: To serve, we like to add cut slices of avocado. It adds a good flavor and since there’s an abundance of avocados here in Ecuador, we like to add it in. You can of course remove this if you want but do try it before you dismiss it 🙂

Quinoa Recipe Three: Fresh quinoa salad with bean patties

There’s nothing healthier than eating fresh salad but let’s be honest, it can be pretty boring to eat everyday. Our last quinoa recipe is a simple yet delicious fresh salad using quinoa. We enjoy having this meal with our choice of protein including bean patties, which we’ve included in the recipe.

Ingredients & Equipment

– 1 cup of quinoa

– 2 cups of water or broth

– 1 vegetable broth cube (if you are using water)

– half a red capsicum

– half a small red onion

– half a small white onion

– 4 teaspoons of flour

– 1 non-stick pan

– 1 tablespoon of olive oil

– 1 cup of black beans and/or chickpeas

– 2 cloves of garlic

– a handful of parsley

– a handful of cherry tomatoes

– Salt and pepper

– 1 blender

– 1 zip lock bag or small plastic bag

Let’s make fried rice!

Step 1: Prepare your quinoa by adding 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water. We like to add a cube of vegetable stock to add more flavor. It is not necessary to add salt as the broth will have enough salt.

Step 2: While you are waiting for your quinoa to cook, it’s the perfect time to prepare the rest of your dish. Let’s start with the salad. You will need to firstly cut the cherry tomatoes in quarters, thinly dice the red onion and cut your cucumbers into matchstick slices. Cut open the avocado and scoop it out using a spoon. Using a knife, slice the avocado into cubes. Also chop the parsley, garlic and white onion so it’s ready for your bean patty mix.

Step 3: Now it’s time to prepare the vegetarian patties. In a blender of your choice, put in your beans of choice. For the purpose of the recipe we have gone with a mix of black beans and chickpeas. Using a blender, break down the beans. You want to remove any chunks. Place the beans in a bowl and add 1 egg, your chopped white onion, minced garlic, parsley and flour. Mix everything together well and it should end up like a paste thick enough to hold as patties. If they are looking at little on the thin side, you can add more flour.

Step 4: Your quinoa should now be cooked, turn off the stove and let the quinoa sit until it is ready to be served. In a bag, place the flour, salt and pepper and shake well. This is the coating you’ll use for your patties. It gives the patties a nice brown coating that gives it a delicious crunch and texture to your patties. To make the clean up process easy, make sure you use a zip lock bag or any small plastic bag you have available.

Step 5: Shape your patties by taking a small amount in your hand and molding them into round patties. Once you have completed one, place it in the bag of flour and lightly shake it to coat the patty. You want to repeat the process until you complete all the patty mixture.

Step 6: Turn on your stove on a medium heat and place a small amount of oil to the pan. You can use a non-stick pan without any oil and your patties will still have a crust without the extra calories. When hot, place your patties on the pan and turn them after 3 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 7: Lastly you want to take a bowl and put your quinoa and fresh vegetables in and mix well. Serve this fresh salad with patties while hot and you are good to go!

We hope you enjoyed our delicious quinoa recipes that really make healthy food tasty. Comment below and share your photos of your quinoa creations. We would love to see them!

One thought on “3 quinoa recipes that makes healthy food tasty

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