12 Ways to Quinoa

12 ways to Quinoa

One of my favorite ingredients to use in the kitchen is quinoa. It’s super easy to cook and a versatile alternative to rice and other grains. Actually, it isn’t a grain at all. It’s native to South America and a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and swiss chard. And, it has a great nutritional profile:

  • Gluten-free
  • One serving fills 48% of our daily magnesium needs
  • Low in cholesterol and sodium
  • Caloric ratio is 71% carbs, 14% fat, 15% protein

I’ve been playing around with quinoa a bit lately and have been adding it to stews. When the weather starts getting cold, all I want to eat are warm hearty stews. Here’s one of my favorite recipes. I love the rich flavors – sweet, spicy and savory.

 quinoa sweet potato squash stew

(adapted from Jump Up and Kiss Me: Spicy Vegetarian Cooking by Jennfier Trainer Thompson)

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch dice
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
4 carrots, peels and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch long slices
2 serrano peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice (You could substitute jalapeño peppers for something less spicy)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons marjoram
1 stick of cinnamon (or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups cooked beans (kidney, cannellini or black) or 1 can beans, rinsed
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread squash, sweet potatoes and carrots in a heavy 12×18-inch shallow baking pan and toss with 2 tablespoons oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until barely tender. Set aside.

Cook onion in remaining 2 tablespoons in oil in a large, heavy stockpot over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and serrano peppers and cook until softened, another 5 minutes. Add garlic, marjoram, cinnamon, cumin and paprika and cook until fragrant. Add tomatoes and juice and simmer 20 minutes until slightly reduced. Add quinoa and simmer 10 minutes. Add roasted vegetables and beans and simmer another 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Serve!

More recipes!

Back in August, I rounded up five of my favorite quinoa recipes and I thought it was time to share some new healthy quinoa recipes.

Heather at Better with Veggies has a quinoa round-up on her blog of some more great quinoa recipes.

Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe? Leave a link in the comments!



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  1. says

    Your pictures are always so mouthwatering!!! I go in quinoa phases when I love it, and then forget about it for awhile. Looks like I’ll be back to quinoa with these recipes!!

  2. says

    I love quinoa but my family does not. I find that when I buy it I’m making two of everything so I’ve kind of shied away from it. Perhaps I should just embrace making two of everything because I’m never going to get them all to like what I like.

    I’ve really got to do something with the sweet potatoes in my fridge. I pinned this so that hopefully I’ll finish off those potatoes!
    Carli recently posted..The Other Chris #WIAW No. 12My Profile

    • admin says

      Let me know if you end up trying it. BTW – I’ve totally given up and make multiple dinners now even though I swore that I would never do that.

    • admin says

      Oh no!! I’m so sorry about your allergy. I know what a pain food allergies can be. I hope that you can incorporate small amounts into your diet soon.

  3. says

    I love this post! I am always trying to find new ways to “do” quinoa. My fave is to treat it like a greek salad: feta, tomatoes, onions, kalamata olives, banana peppers and some olive oil. Delish!


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