Quinoa: Ancient Superfood + 15 Quinoa Recipes

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Quinoa: Ancient Superfood - 15 quinoa recipes :: Vintage Kids modern World


We’re delving into the world of gluten free around my house lately, in hopes to solves some intestinal issues with our little girl.  Truth be told, I think our entire family has, at the very least, some wheat sensitivities.  We are’t completely gluten free yet, but we have significantly reduced the amount of wheat we are consuming, and in lieu of gluten, I’ve found some amazingly tasty grains!

Enter: quinoa

Yes, it’s spelled funny. No, it’s not phonetic. It’s pronounced KEEN-wa and it comes from South America and is technically a seed (not a grain) from a plant akin to spinach.  It was known as Incan Gold because it is so nutritious and was known to give the Incan warriors their stamina.  I’m no Incan warrior, but I do have 3 kids, I homeschool two of them, and I run 2 small business. Pretty close if you ask me. I’ll take all the stamina I can get!

If you’ve ever tried it before and hadn’t the foggiest idea what you were doing, you may have taken one bite and then thrown out the pan!  The quinoa seeds are covered in saponin, which is extremely bitter, so you’ll need to rinse your quinoa until the water runs clear before you cook it.  TRUST ME on this one.

Tip:  Quinoa is really tiny (much smaller than rice) and it’s difficult to rinse without washing half of it down the drain.  I use my french press to soak and then rinse the quinoa and so far, this has seemed like the best method.  You can also use a fine mesh sieve, or cheese cloth in a colander.

Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor but it’s very mild and extremely versatile! You can substitute quinoa in any recipe where you would normally use rice, and it’s great thrown into soups, casseroles, and even in hot breakfast cereals!

So why bother if rice is sufficient?  Because quinoa blows every other grain/seed out of the water! It’s known to be one of the healthiest grains on earth (albeit, not a grain, but hey…) Check this out:

“According to The National Academy of Sciences, quinoa is “one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom.”

“Quinoa is a source of all essential amino acids according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.” source

Additionally, quinoa is incredibly high in iron, potassium, B vitamins and because it contains all 8 amino acids that our body does not naturally produce, it’s a complete protein, so it’s thoroughly digestible (and very satisfying!).  Quinoa has become a staple in our house, simply because of the nutritional bang that you get for your buck.  As a bonus, I’m still nursing our little man, and quinoa is considered a nursing SUPERFOOD because of it’s high vitamin and mineral content, and because it actually helps increase lactation (though I’d personally stay away from the syrups in this recipe and use natural sweetener, it looks great!).

If you’re new to using quinoa, it can be hard to know where to start.

Here are some of my favorite quinoa recipes from around the web:

Baked Quinoa and Oatmeal Breakfast Squares

Chocolate Quinoa Porridge

Lentil Quinoa Salad

Five Grain Salad

Quinoa Salad With Tasso and Citrus Vinaigrette 

Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Quinoa and Apple Salad With Curry Dressing

Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

Gluten-Free Hot Breakfast Cereal

Quinoa Tabbouleh 

Quinoa Corn Salad

Quinoa Pudding (use whole milk, not skim!)

Greek-style Quinoa Burgers

Quinoa Spinach Bake

Quinoa, Apricot and Nut Clusters

Here is an entire recipe database of amazing quinoa-based recipes


What’s your favorite quinoa recipe?  share with us in the comments below and see if it ends up featured on Vintage Kids | Modern World facebook page!

image taken by this great photographer, and amended by me

first published on April 25, 2012


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17 Responses to “Quinoa: Ancient Superfood + 15 Quinoa Recipes”
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  1. Erin

    Oh My Lord! Ian has been going through some health complications as of late and quinoa was recommended to us by his dietitian. I was at a loss on how to make anything with it for a while, but have found some super tasty recipes. Pairing those up with what you have just given me….I think I can serve quinoa at least once a day from here on out. Thanks!

  2. I haven’t yet tried quinoa, not really knowing how to cook it. I thought I was really branching out by using couscous. Good tips, I’ll pick some up and try it out.

  3. Rebecca

    Thanks so much for this post!! It is so timely. I already eat quinoa, but didn’t know how else to prepare. I was recently thinking about looking up other recipes. I am also nursing so that is awesome to know it increases lactation. I may even give it to my baby (6 mo old son).

  4. Wow, great list of recipes! Definitely checking out a few of these. I also just read a blog post elsewhere recently about “popping” quinoa. You can use the popped quinoa in a variety of ways, but I’m particularly interested in adding it to my granola.

  5. I love quinoa– I like to make a pilaf with caramelized onion, chopped kalamata olives, chopped walnuts, fresh herbs, and lemon.

    The French press idea is GENIUS.

  6. Hey! Thanks for the recipes and advice! I have recently been playing around with it and love the fact that it has so much protein!

  7. Lisa

    We love quinoa! For a quick easy breakfast we cook it in the rice cooker with almond milk and serve with cinnamon and xylitol.

  8. Sara Tetreault

    We’ve been adding quinoa to our weekly meal plan and are loving it. It’s hearty and when used in a dish instead of pasta, is delicious. It’s also quicker to cook than brown rice! (found you though the Natural Mother’s Network 🙂 )

  9. mmmm quinoa! I just recently discovered it and absolutely love it! I especially love it when I toss fresh herbs in with it after cooking for a simple side dish. I’ll have to try some of the breakfast ideas.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. A little known food source that contains as much protein as chicken- thanks for helping to spread the word about this valuable food product- it’s a relatively cheap source of protein too:-)

  11. Such an excellent collection of this wonder food. Please share this on my foodie friday party today.

  12. Shawna

    I used it as a first cereal with two of my babies. I just ground it up and cooked it in the same proportions as farina (cream of wheat). You can actually do that with any grain.

  13. This is a wonderful list of quinoa recipes! Thanks so much!

  14. Thanks for the great tip on how to wash quinoa with a french press. I’ve also read that it’s super important to wash quinoa before you cook it because of the saponins that naturally coat the grain, but I am losing half of it down the drain as well.