The recipes with quinoa are becoming increasingly popular among both vegans and vegetarians as well as among those who want to start a diet or a healthier lifestyle.
The gastronomic varieties provided by this nutritious seed, which originated in South America, are infinite. The following article will present 11 easy quinoa recipes that are also very quick to prepare.
Quinoa has many health benefits, since it is one of the only products of plant origin that provides all the essential amino acids. Besides, it is high in fibre and the nutritional quality of its proteins is similar to that of milk.
Since it is such a nutritious food, this seed, which is a member of the family Amaranthaceae, has been widely used in a lot of recipes. Therefore, if you wonder how to cook quinoa, you should start by boiling it.
In order to do this, you should wash the quinoa and, once it has drained, cook it in a saucepan like rice (that is, add twice as much water as quinoa). Then, let it stand and cool for a couple of minutes. Having said that, let’s see 11 simple dishes made from this seed.
Cold salads with quinoa are some of the most common recipes. Due to its texture, the quinoa adds body and flavour to any type of salad.
Among the ingredients that can be used, there are: rocket salad, corn salad, spinach, celery, endives, curly endive, beetroot, soy, avocado, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and honey, among many others.
A good example of this recipe is the rocket salad with quinoa, pear or orange, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. It can be used either as a single or multi-serving recipe.
For a single serving, you simply mix a cup of rocket salad, ⅓ cup of quinoa, a sliced half pear, pine nuts to your liking and grated Parmesan cheese. Finally, add some olive oil and sea salt to taste. The dressing used to season the quinoa will also be essential when it comes to adding consistency to the salad.
Quinoa is not only used as an ingredient for classic salads, but also for all kinds of recipes with fruits. For example, you can prepare a cold salad with fruits and quinoa, and serve it with many other ingredients. This recipe is an excellent idea of a healthy and nutritious breakfast.
Among the fruits that best combine with this seed, there are: all citrus fruits, tomatoes, pears, peaches, apricots, strawberries, pomegranates or grapes.
Let’ see an example of cold quinoa salad with fruits. Mix half a cup of quinoa with any citrus fruit (e.g. half orange cut into small slices) or with chunks of pumpkin. Mix to your liking with grapes, walnuts, mozzarella cheese, honey and sesame seeds.
You can also prepare soups and broths with quinoa. In this case, you need raw quinoa, since it will cook in the boiling process of the broth.
So, for the quinoa and coconut soup, you need: ⅓ cup of quinoa, ½ cup of coconut milk, ⅔ cup of warm vegetable broth, 200 grams of mixed vegetables, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of curry and grated ginger to taste.
First, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the grated ginger for no more than a minute. Then, add the raw quinoa and the coconut milk; afterwards, the vegetable broth.
Let it boil, then lower the heat and add the 200 grams of mixed vegetables. Cook for no more than 35 minutes on low heat, and serve.
Chicken, and any type of meat in general, is an ingredient that can be used in any quinoa recipe. In other words, almost any chicken recipe can be prepared with this seed and served with vegetables of all kinds.
The chicken and quinoa recipe that we propose consists in stewing a few chicken strips with tomatoes, onion, pepper, and a chilli or hot dressing, like the one used for Mexican fajitas.
Mix the chicken with the sauce and quinoa, add rocket or corn salad, coriander to taste and a dash of lemon juice. You can serve it with a typical Mexican corn or flour tortilla.
Quinoa can also be used in recipes with any type of vegetables, whether raw or sautéed with oil. Some of the vegetables that can be used are: pepper, broccoli, chard, cabbage, cauliflower, courgette, sweet potatoes, cucumber, potatoes or carrots.
You can prepare a sautéed quinoa with vegetables in the following way: chop the carrots, green or red pepper, onion, broccoli and cauliflower and sauté them in a frying pan with oil. First, add the ingredients that take longer to cook (i.e. the broccoli, cauliflower and carrots).
Once the vegetables have softened, add a cup of quinoa and cook on a low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This is another easy recipe, prepared with quinoa and chicken breasts. So, you need 4 chicken breasts without skin or bones, and 2 cups of quinoa. For the dressing, you need a cup of plain yogurt, 3 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of mustard, thyme, salt and pepper.
On the one hand, bake the quinoa for 25 minutes, and when it becomes slightly brown, let it cool for a few minutes. On the other hand, cover the chicken breasts with mustard, thyme, salt and pepper, and finally dip them in the crispy quinoa, pressing to coat.
Place them on an oven rack and bake them at 220 ºC for 15 minutes or until they are just set.
Quinoa can also be used to stuff a wide variety of foods, from both plant and animal origin; for example, squid, peppers, aubergines, mushrooms and almost any other ingredient that you can think of.
For instance, you can prepare this recipe by stuffing roasted aubergines with quinoa. It is as easy as roasting the aubergines for about 10 to 15 minutes (previously cut in half). Then, mix the aubergine flesh with quinoa, slices of cheese, salt and spices to taste, and you can also add eggs (but the latter is optional).
Once the mixture is ready, use it to stuff the aubergines. Put grated mozzarella cheese on top and put them back in the oven for 10 more minutes until the cheese is grilled.
The people who follow a vegan diet already know that it is easy to create quinoa recipes similar to those with meat. For example, quinoa burgers are one of the most popular dishes made with this seed.
In this case, let’s see a recipe of quinoa burgers with guacamole. Combining quinoa with other ingredients helps create a mixture of thick consistency, similar to that of any burger.
In order to do this, you can use any kind of sauce, which can be more or less thick, or else you can use an avocado. You should mix ½ cup of quinoa with ¾ of an avocado, and form the mixture into burgers. If the consistency is not thick enough, you can add more quinoa.
Once you form the burgers to the desired size, fry them with oil for a few minutes. To finish, you can serve the burgers with bread or vegetables, or in any way you like.
This quinoa recipe turns out to be just like any other tasty burger, and it is especially nutritious.
The tabbouleh, a salad usually served cold, with or without meat, is originally from the Middle East, particularly from Syria and Lebanon. The original recipe of tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat or couscous as main ingredient, and also with tomatoes, lettuce or other fresh sprouts, as well as a wide variety of aromatic herbs and dressings.
The following recipe for a quinoa tabouleh consists in replacing the bulgur wheat by quinoa, which can also be seasoned with all kinds of spices and sauces. Besides, you can add pepper, onion, cucumber or any ingredient you can think of.
As we have seen, another way of cooking quinoa is mixing it with different ingredients and baking it in the oven. For example, you can prepare baked quinoa pie with tomatoes and cheese.
For this recipe, you can use ½ cup of quinoa, 2 cups of cherry tomatoes (cut in half), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 chopped onions, 3 chopped garlic cloves, basil leaves, a cup of sliced mozzarella cheese, 2 large tomatoes (sliced), balsamic vinegar, salt and ground pepper.
Roast the cherry tomatoes in the oven for 10 minutes, previously adding a spoonful of olive oil, salt and pepper. Meanwhile, pour the other tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add the garlic and onion.
Then, in a bowl, mix the cherry tomatoes with the onion and garlic, and add the quinoa. Place this mixture in a large baking pan and, over it, add the slices of tomatoes and cheese.
Next, put a layer of the mixture of quinoa and cherry tomatoes, and a last layer of slices of tomatoes and cheese. Cover it with aluminium foil and leave it in the oven for 10 minutes. Finally, boil the balsamic vinegar for 3 minutes and add it to the quinoa with cheese.
The pâté is an excellent appetiser. It is a paste or mixture (almost always made from animal meat) that is spread on bread and eaten cold. To prepare a pâté of quinoa with peppers, you will need: 2 red peppers, ½ miso stock cube, 60 ml of quinoa cream (whipped quinoa), 5 dried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of oil, 8 basil leaves.
Once the peppers are washed, chop them into small cubes. Then, steam them for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the quinoa cream with the miso stock cube and simmer it for 5 minutes. Dissolve it in some water and let it thicken.
Afterwards, mix it with the peppers, the dried tomatoes and the basil, and whip until a creamy consistency is formed. Finally, put it in an airtight container and let it cool in the refrigerator. Once frozen, take it out. After a few minutes, spread it on a loaf of bread with a knife.
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González, G. (2017). Recetas con quinoa y otros cereales. Comer sano, vivir sano. Tikal Ediciones: España.