I have recently come across quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) and its numerous benefits; it would be selfish not to share the many beneficial properties of this healthy ingredient! Hence why it has been a staple in South American cuisine for thousands of years, and a very important crop for the Inca Empire. Furthermore, quinoa has now reached ‘superfood’ status due to its amazing qualities.
The main nutritional facts to be aware of is how it is a very good source of protein (8 grams in 1 cup) and a very good source of fibre compared to other grains such as brown rice (5 grams in 1 cup). It also contains some omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the skin and hair! Its also gluten-free and a low glycemic index.
See? There’s too much to love about this versatile ingredient! Here I will show you two nutritious vegetarian quinoa recipes, one for lunch/dinner, and one as a breakfast/snack!
Colourful Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Pomegranate
Even just the thought of a picnic makes me fill with joy. Bournemouth is the perfect location for one, between the Upper and Lower Gardens, the many parks, and the award-winning beaches, we are just spoilt for choice in this area! This is why I created this tasty summer salad, which is so aesthetically pleasing you might want to snap a few pictures before you dig into it!
The combination of these flavours is simply a delight, with the fruit balancing off the salty feta cheese as the nuts make their way in for a crunchy treat! This salad is the perfect cold lunch to take to work, school, and of course, a picnic!
Ingredients – Serves a family of 4 hungry people!
2 cups of cherries
1 cup of pomegranate seeds
2 cups tri-colour quinoa (1/2 cup per person)
2 tablespoons minced shallot
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
100g Greek feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Salt to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add the quinoa so it cooks for 6-8 minutes. Strain it with a mesh strainer and toss them in a large bowl. Fluff with a fork.
- Slice the cherries (taking out the seeds) in half and toss them in the bowl, along with the pomegranate seeds.
- In a separate bowl, add the minced shallot, the red-wine vinegar, the olive oil, and salt. Combine with a fork.
- Pour the dressing into the quinoa, add the cheese, walnuts, and parsley. Combine with a spoon or toss. Finally, season with salt.
Filling Quinoa Pudding with Goji Berries
This quinoa pudding is the perfect way to start the day, hassle-free, mess-free, and is so filling! Quinoa is great for metabolic health so this breakfast will definitely set you off on the right foot. Its the sort of meal that you feel in your soul, as it is so warm and pleasant, definitely nothing sour in the morning! Consider this pudding a more interesting version of porridge, but tastier, and more nutritious! My daughter and I love this recipe and I hope you will too.
Goji Berries are a superfood as well! They contain many healthy antioxidants and are known largely because of their immune-boosting qualities. They also combat dangerous free radicals and reduce inflammation! However, please substitute the goji berries if you use blood thinners, blood pressure drugs, and/or diabetes medications as they might interact.
Ingredients – Adapt to make as much as you want of this yummy breakfast!
Quinoa (1/2 cup per person)
Almond Milk (double the amount of total quinoa)
Goji Berries (as a topping)
Honey to taste
- Place the quinoa in a pot along with the almond milk, then bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and let cook until quinoa is soft.
- Add honey to achieve your desired sweetness.
- Garnish with dried goji berries for additional nutrition and texture!
And there you have it! Two of my favourite nutritious vegetarian quinoa recipes that are not only extremely tasty but also very filling! If you go ahead and make these, why not take a picture and tag us @scapewest !
In the meantime…read our previous post!
Love Scape xxx