Cooking with Quinoa

Quinoa is so versatile and simple to make that I always have several boxes stocked away in my pantry and ready to add to sides, salads or entrees. Here are 3 ways you can enjoy this gluten-free, superfood for breakfast, lunch or dinner:

Breakfast: Poached egg on quinoa

Prep your bowl

  • Warm 1/4 cup of leftover quinoa and place it in the center of each bowl
  • Slice up 1/2 an avocado into 4 wedges and fan it out on top of the quinoa
  • Drizzle light vinaigrette over the quinoa base

Poach your Egg

  • Place a medium pot of water in a pot on the stove
  • Add a splash of vinegar to the pot and season with salt and pepper
  • Bring the pot of water to a rolling boil
  • Crack each egg into one measuring cup or small ramekin, keeping the yolk intact
  • Gently drop one egg at a time into boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes for soft poached eggs and up to 4 minutes for more firm eggs.
  • When cooked, remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and drain excess water
  • Place poached egg on top of your avocado and quinoa
  • Lightly drizzle with simple vinaigrette. Season with salt, cracked pepper, and a splash of lime juice.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro & serve.

Lunch: Warm Chopped Salad

Yields – 2 large individual salads or 6 side salads

This simple chopped salad is an all time crowd pleaser and will leave you feeling nourished and completely satisfied.

  • Rinse and drain 1 12 oz. can of chickpeas. Let stand to dry or blot with a paper towel.Heat olive oil in a skillet and lightly sauté chickpeas until they are golden and crunchy – about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove chickpeas and drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Place in a bowl and season with sea salt and a splash of fresh lemon.
  • Chop up one tomato, 1/2 cucumber and one avocado about 1/4 1/2 inch dice. Add to a large salad bowl.
  • Add about 4 cups of fresh spinach and 1 cup of fresh arugula to the bowl. Do not toss.
  • Chop 1/4 cup of fresh basil.
  • Make or reheat quinoa. Sprinkle one cup of warm cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup of chickpeas and fresh basil over the spinach and arugula leaves.  Let the quinoa sit on the greens for a few minutes until lightly softened
  • Toss with a simple vinaigrette and serve.
  • Other great additions: Chopped egg or shredded chicken.

IMG_5611Dinner: Veggie Tacos 

I could eat tacos every week!  Tacos are simple to make but do a little time to chop and prep the ingredients, which can easily be done ahead of time. Once your ingredients are ready, these veggie tacos come together easily and will be devoured quickly.

Shuck, roast, chop, saute:

  • Shuck and roast 2 cobs of corn on a gas grill over medium high heat, turning occasionally for about 12 minutes. Remove from grill, allow to cool and slice kernels off the cob.  Set aside.
  • Dice 1/2 of yellow onion, 1 garlic clove, 1 red pepper and 1 yellow pepper. Add olive oil to a skillet and Sauté over medium heat, stirring until soft. Add corn kernels and season with a pinch of salt, pepper, and cumin. Set aside.
  • Chop 1 medium tomato and set aside in a bowl.
  • Rinse and drain 1 can of black beans. Set aside.
  • Heat up 1 cup of quinoa in a pan and season with olive oil, fresh lime juice, pinch of cumin and sea salt. Add fresh chopped cilantro and set aside.
  • Chop up fresh greens for topping.
  • Slice up fresh avocado into 1/4 inch wedges or make a big bowl of yummy avocado dip for topping.

Make Your Tacos

  • Once your ingredients are chopped and prepared, lightly oil and heat up your corn tortillas in a skillet about 1 minute on each side. Make at least 2 corn tortillas per person. Cover with tin foil to keep warm.
  • Place a bit of quinoa in a tortilla, top with cooked veggies, beans, fresh avocado and lettuce.
  • Authentic Mexican tacos are not loaded with cheese but my kids love it. So, I always have some fresh, crumbly queso fresco or shredded monterey jack available on the side.


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