So you’ve decided to try quinoa. What can you do with it? A better question might be—what can’t you do with it?! Quinoa is a versatile grain-like “seed” that cooks up light and fluffy, with a slightly nutty, mild flavor. It can be used just like rice, as a side dish or combined with other ingredients to create a pilaf or even a main course. I like to make a couple of cups at a time and use my cooked quinoa in various recipes throughout the week. Here are a few of my favorites.
Very Veggie Quinoa
1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup diced green beans or snow peas
2 diced carrots
1 diced cucumber
1/2 diced pepper (use red for color)
1 diced tomato
Handful chopped fresh parsley
Juice from 1 or 2 lemons, or 2 Tbsp. jarred lemon juice
Flavor boost, I use 1 diced garlic clove and a little grated ginger
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1. In a medium bowl, combine quinoa and veggies including parsley.
2. With a whisk or submersion blender, combine lemon juice, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper and olive oil. pour on mixture and combine. Chill before serving.
Avocado & Lime Quinoa
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 avocado cubed
2 diced green onions
2 Tbsp. lime juice
Handful of chopped cilantro
Dash of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
(Optional: Diced tomatoes, butter beans, other cooked/diced veggies of choice)
1. Mix together all ingredients and toss gently to combine.
Fruity Breakfast Quinoa
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 Tbsp. seeds hulled sunflower, chia, etc.)
5 Tbsp. combination dried fruits (chopped blueberries, apricots, cranberries, figs, and/or raisins)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups your favorite milk (cow, goat, almond, flax or soy)
Optional: 1 Tbsp. natural sweetener of choice (honey , maple syrup, agave)
1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over low to medium heat until quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid. Quick tip: I like to serve with a little more milk poured on top.
Dana Zucker is a home cook that likes to do it her way! She gets creative with nutritious ingredients to keep her active family—teenage twins and a vegan, triathlete husband—healthy and happy. Cooking with organic, local and whole food ingredients is key, whether she’s whipping up an early-morning breakfast, prepping afterschool snacks or getting dinner on the table at 10 p.m. Dana says, “We do eat out sometimes, and even cheat with some pre-made foods. But I try to balance making delicious foods with the reality of a busy schedule.” Dana’s recipes are a great starting point to find a style of cooking that works for your family. Her advice? Keep it real—and keep it easy!