Some Easy Recipes with Quinoa
Quinoa seems to be all the trend nowadays – a savior for all those with gluten intolerance! This protein, iron and magnesium rich food has become the mantra for vegetarians, vegans and calorie-conscious souls. I met a friend recently who seems to have shrunk at least two sizes; he gives all credit to his diet; he says quinoa is the ideal substitute for rice, bread and pasta. He admits that his wife has become very creative in the kitchen, serving him some very interesting meals with quinoa playing centerstage.
Quinoa and Mango Salad
- Quinoa – I cup Balsamic vinegar – ¼ cup
- Juice of one lime
- Mango – 1, peeled and chopped
- Red Bell Pepper 1, chopped
- Chopped onion – 1/3 cup
- Raisins ¼ cup Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped
- In a large saucepan, boil two cups of water and cook quinoa according to the instructions on the pack.
- Let the quinoa cool down.
- In a bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar and lime juice.
- In a serving bowl, mix the quinoa, mango, bell pepper, onion, raisins and coriander leaves.
- Pour the vinegar and lime juice dressing on top.
- Season with salt and toss to combine.
Lime Rice with Quinoa (instead of rice)
This traditional South Indian dish substitutes rice with quinoa and the taste is just as good.
- Quinoa – 1 cup
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Whole red chilies – 2
- Green chili – 1, sliced into 4 pieces
- Curry leaves – 12-15
- Channa dal – 2 tbsp, soaked for half an hour
- Roasted peanuts – ¼ cup
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Lemon juice – ¼ cup
- Cook the quinoa in two cups of boiling water for about 15 minutes and remove while it still retains its bite.
- Spread out on a tray to cool.
For the seasoning:
- Heat oil in a large saucepan, stir fry peanuts until brown. Remove the peanuts.
- In the same hot oil, splutter the cumin and mustard seeds and when they crackle, add the red chili, curry leaves and green chilies.
- Add the channa dhal and turmeric powder and sauté.
- When channa dhal changes color, add the quinoa and toss.
- Add the salt and lemon juice, mixing it gently in.
- Serve it hot.
Quinoa, Feta and Pomegranate Salad
- Quinoa – 1 cup
- Onion – 1, chopped
- Raisins – 3 tbsps
- Feta cheese – 100 gms crumbled
- Pomegranate seeds – 200 gms
- Toasted almonds – 3 tbsps
- Mint – 2 tbsps chopped
- Lime – juice of 3 limes
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Cook quinoa according to the instructions on the packet.
- Take care not to overcook.
- Drain and spread over a tray to cool.
- Toss all the ingredients with the quinoa and serve chilled.
Quinoa & Kidney Bean Salad
- Quinoa – 1 cup quinoa
- Oranges – 2, peeled and cut into small segments
- Red kidney beans (Rajma) – 1 cup cooked
- Corn – ½ cup cooked
- Onion – 1/3 cup chopped onion
- Coriander leaves – 2 tsps chopped
For the dressing
- Olive oil – ¼ cup
- Apple cider vinegar – ¼ cup
- Fresh orange juice – ¼ cup
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the pack.
- Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice and sugar in a bowl to make the dressing.
- Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and pour the dressing over.
- Toss well before serving.
Tips for cooking with quinoa
- The most commonly found quinoa are the white, black and red varieties.
- The wholegrain quinoa has a bitter coating and so it is advisable to rinse and soak for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
- The white processed quinoa does not have the bitter coating so we suggest that you buy that for ease of cooking. However, it is always better to rinse all types of quinoa well before cooking.
- Quinoa is very similar to cooking couscous and is ideal for salads.
- Take care not to overcook as quinoa should retain its bite.