Diet

10 Healthy Quinoa Recipes for You to Try!

Summary: Quinoa is a crop that has recently found its popularity in various healthy nutrition plans. High in fiber, whole in texture, this versatile plant has lent itself to serve as a substitute to many pulses and rice while being a great addition to soups and salads. Here are 10 healthy and simple quinoa recipes for you to show off your cooking skills!

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is a flowering plant found in the Amaranth family. The grain’s flowers give rise to seeds which are edible. Even though quinoa has been a part of foods for more than 4000 years, its global consumption has increased drastically over the past few years. Native to South America, quinoa is now cultivated all over the world. 

What can Quinoa substitute?

Quinoa is a great substitute for rice and gluten based foods. It is rich in fibre and protein, and is made of 72% water, and important salts like magnesium, potassium and manganese. It also contains Vitamin B and folate. 

How is Quinoa healthier than other foods?

Quinoa has a glycemic index of 53. Anything below 55, is a low number which makes it a great option for those suffering from diabetes. 

Quinoa is high in fibre, and this ensures slow and smooth absorption of food in the digestive tract. This releases sugar into the bloodstream at a well-paced rate, ensuring that the blood sugar does not spike suddenly. 

Quinoa contains more than 70% of water while carbohydrates, proteins and fat make up the remaining. This ensures that the calories consumed are low, while keeping the stomach full. 

Quinoa is a great source of protein for vegetarians. Unlike some plant proteins, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make on their own.

Quinoa’s high fibre contents help regular blood pressure along with the presence of potassium and magnesium salts. All of these factors also aid in lowering blood cholesterol. Quinoa is a rich source of iron and folate. 

Studies have shown that regular consumption of quinoa reduces the risk of cancer in 17% of patients. It significantly also reduces the risk of heart disease and respiratory diseases due to its high antioxidant level.

Quinoa is a pseudo cereal, a seed eaten like a grain. Since it is low in calories, 120 Calories per 100 grams, quinoa is a great part of a nutritious plan to lose weight.

10 Healthy Quinoa Recipes You Should Try!

#1 Quinoa Khichdi

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mung dal
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp Chilli powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-inch piece of ginger chopped
  • Few curry leaves
  • 2-3 Peppercorns
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • A pinch asafoetida
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables chopped

Instructions:

  1. Clean the quinoa well.
  2. Soak the quinoa and mung dal for half an hour.
  3. Add ghee to the pressure cooker, add cumin seeds, pepper, cloves, cinnamon and asafoetida. 
  4. Once cumin seeds crackle, add curry leaves and soaked quinoa and mung dal. 
  5. Add vegetables and rest of the ingredients
  6. Add water and pressure cook for 1 -2 whistles. 
  7. Once cool, serve hot.

#2 Quinoa Dosa

Quinoa dosa

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of quinoa 
  • ½ cup urad dal 
  • ¼ cup chana dal
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required 

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the quinoa and dals and soak for 3-4 hours.
  2. Blend it to a paste, adding water.
  3. Add salt, mix well and let batter rest overnight or for a few hours.
  4. Heat a pan, spread the dosa batter to form a circle.
  5. Drizzle oil around it and cook for a few minutes or till golden brown.
  6. Flip and cook for a minute.
  7. Serve with chutney or sambar

#3 Curd Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked Quinoa 
  • ¼ cup Pomegranate pearls 
  • ½ cup Cucumber chopped finely
  • ¼ -½ cup Milk 
  • ½ cup plain Curd
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering:

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds 
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal 
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • ¼ tsp Asafoetida 
  • Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
  • 1 tsp Ginger grated
  • 1 Green Chilli chopped finely

Instructions:

  1. Mix quinoa, cucumber, pomegranate, curd, milk and salt.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add all ingredients for tempering and let the seeds crackle.
  3. Pour it over the quinoa mixture and mix well and serve.

#4 Quinoa Chocolate Fudge

Quinoa Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 8-10 dates
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • Sea salt 

Instructions:

  1. Roast the quinoa on medium heat for a few minutes. Cool and grind into flour.
  2. Add dates, coconut oil, and cocoa and blend, adding water little at a time until it forms a dough.
  3. Spread the dough on a greased plate.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt and freeze.
  5. Cut in squares and serve.

#5 Quinoa Smoothie

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tbsp quinoa cooked
  • ½ cup frozen berries or banana
  • 1 cup almond milk or coconut water
  • 8-10 seedless dates
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup 

Instructions: 

  1. Blend quinoa, berries, almond milk or coconut water, dates and maple syrup 
  2. Chill and serve.

#6 Quinoa Salad

Quinoa salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup boiled quinoa
  • 1/4 cup chopped red peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow peppers
  • ¼ cup chopped cucumber
  • ¼ cup paneer cubes
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper as required
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Whisk oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper for the dressing.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add the dressing and mix well.
  4. Serve.

#7 Quinoa Vegetable Upma

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • a generous pinch of asafoetida
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp peanuts
  • 1/2 inch ginger minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup peas fresh or frozen
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Coriander leaves chopped for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Wash the quinoa several times, drain and keep aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds and urad dal and let them sputter
  3. Add chili, ginger, asafoetida, and curry leaves, and cook for half a minute.
  4. Add onions and peanuts and cook until onions are translucent.
  5. Add carrots and peas.
  6. Add quinoa and roast for 2 minutes with the veggies.
  7. Add salt, water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Let the quinoa sit covered for 5 minutes. Then uncover, fluff, and serve. Garnish with coriander and lemon juice.

#8 Quinoa Pudding

Quinoa Pudding

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cups quinoa
  • 1 and ½ cup water 
  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • 2 ripe bananas 
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • Salt a pinch
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Boil the quinoa in water over high heat and let simmer for a few minutes till cooked.
  2. Blend the bananas and milk.
  3. Pour the mixture into the simmering quinoa.
  4. Cook till the mix thickens.
  5. Take off from heat, add butter, vanilla, honey, and salt.
  6. Pour in cups and refrigerate. Serve cooled.

#9 One Pot Chicken Quinoa 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 chicken breast cut into 3 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil divided
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups low-fat chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

  1. Marinate the chicken breast with rosemary, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat the chicken.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in the same pan.
  4. Add the garlic, onion, and mushrooms, and cook for a few minutes.
  5. Stir the quinoa and broth into the vegetables.
  6. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Place the chicken into the quinoa, and cook (covered) until the liquid is absorbed, and the chicken is cooked through about 10 minutes.
  8. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Stir the spinach into the quinoa.
  9. Serve with the chicken on top.

#10 Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa cooked
  • 1 cucumber chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 2 green onion chopped with the white part
  • 4 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 and a half tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1 apple sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

  1. Soak apple slices in water and keep them aside.
  2. Mix the quinoa with veggies in a large bowl.
  3. Make a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour over the quinoa mix, add the apple slices and nuts and serve.

Quinoa is a healthy substitute for many grains and seeds. Soups, salads, mains, and even desserts can be made from it. It is a great find for those suffering from gluten allergies, as it is gluten-free. It is a crop that is whole and nutritious in every manner.

Most recipes can be adjusted by adding quinoa or quinoa flour to modify it into one that is more healthy while tasting just as delicious. It is extremely versatile, adaptable, healthy, self-sustaining, great for the environment, balanced, and nutritious all at the same time. It helps in keeping illness at bay and works on maintaining blood levels of sugars and salts at optimum levels. It promotes smooth digestion of food and is filling while being low on calories.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is the nutritional value of quinoa?

A. 100 grams of cooked quinoa consists of 72% water, 21% carbohydrates, 4% protein and 2% fat. It carries 120 KiloCalories and is rich in manganese, phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium, folate and dietary fibres.

Q. Is quinoa a grass?

A. Quinoa is not a grass but a crop. It is related to the spinach and amaranth family.

Q. Can diabetics consume quinoa?

A. Quinoa has a glycemic index value of 53, which shows that it is low. This ensures that it does not cause a spike in blood sugar suddenly. The fibre in quinoa is high, and this allows for slow absorption of quinoa through the digestive tract. This helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Q. Can hypertensive patients consume quinoa?

A. Quinoa is extremely good for those suffering from hypertension because it has a lot of potassium and magnesium along with dietary fibre. Being gluten-free, this helps in normalising not just blood pressure, but even cholesterol levels.

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