10 Ways to Cook With Quinoa

Delicious recipes made with the grain (or seed) du jour.

Quinoa photo via shutterstock

Quinoa photo via shutterstock

Quinoa, called “one of the world’s healthiest foods” is a whole grain (although it’s technically a seed) that cooks quick and can be eaten hot or cold. When cooking quinoa, it’s important rinse it thoroughly first and then let it simmer in salted liquid untouched for a majority of the cooking time. This ensures that the grains will cook evenly and will be fluffy when finished. Just like you would with rice, fluff quinoa with a fork as opposed to a spoon so it doesn’t stick together. You can even try cooking quinoa in vegetable or chicken broth for maximum flavor.

1. Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Fennel and Radicchio
via Honest Cooking

A medley of colorful roasted vegetables plus the addition of chickpeas makes this a quick and hearty dinner. Crumble a little feta on top for a creamy finish (plus with all the veggies, a little cheese makes the dish just that much more delicious).

2. Cranberry Quinoa Crunch Lettuce Wraps
via Honest Cooking

This recipe is an easy way to use up leftover quinoa or you can make the quinoa mixture ahead of time for a next day lunch. Buy unsweetened dried cranberries to ensure you aren’t adding excess sugar to the dish.

3. Mango Quinoa Salad with Shrimp
via Dish by Dish

Headed to a potluck dinner? Look no further than this recipe. Full of vegetables, sweet mango, and grilled shrimp, all of your friends will be pleased with a bowl of something unexpected. It’s best to make ahead of time and serve cold.

4. Cheesy Turkey & Spinach Quinoa Casserole
via ifoodreal

This is also a good recipe for adding extra vegetables. Pile on the peas, broccoli, kale, or asparagus to bring delicious texture and crunch to the casserole.

5. Grilled Tex-Mex Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins
via Half Baked Harvest

Healthy Tex-Mex food can be hard to come by so this is a good one to keep in the arsenal. The recipe doesn’t use a lot of the inside of the potato, so you will have some leftover for a healthy side dish the next day.

6. Eggplant Parmesan Quinoa Risotto
via Coffee and Quinoa

Keeping on track is all about taking your favorite flavors and swapping in healthy and delicious alternatives. For this, you use quinoa instead of pasta, fresh tomatoes instead of sauce, and top with shredded cheese instead of baking on a slab of mozzarella. Omit the butter and use olive oil for an even cleaner dish.

7. Breakfast Grape Quinoa
via Robin’s Bite

One way to infuse flavor into quinoa is to change up the cooking liquid. This recipe uses grape juice (look for sugar free, 100 percent juice varieties) to cook the quinoa and then adds nuts (try almonds) and blueberries to round out the meal.

8. Walnut-Glazes Quinoa Pancakes
via Hungry Ninja

No need to miss out on a homemade brunch with this recipe for whole wheat pancakes made with quinoa. Be sure to not over mix this batter. Whole wheat flour is more susceptible to becoming tough when overworked.

9. Cajun Crab and Quinoa Cakes
via Cooking Light

These crab cakes cut the calories by using quinoa instead of bread crumbs and the broiler instead of a fryer. Try light sour cream instead of canola mayonnaise, for a tangier twist. It’s important to thoroughly clean the lump crab. No one will want to bite into a rouge piece of shell.

10. Edamame, Quinoa and Shitake Mushroom Salad
via Cooking Light

For an Asian twist on quinoa with edamame (you can buy them steamed and shelled in the produce department) and shitake mushrooms. The recipe keeps the mushrooms and bell peppers raw, however sautéing them with slices of pork will transform this light salad into a full dinner.