Super Grains: Quinoa 101

Author: Stacey Arsenault

Ever wonder what’s all the buzz about the ancient grain, quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”)? We’ve got all the dirt for you along with some delicious recipes to experiment with. Technically, quinoa is a seed: however, it’s classified as a whole grain. What makes this whole-grain so special is that it packs a punch of protein and fiber! It’s actually a complete protein, which means that it’s got all nine amino acids inside that tiny little seed; making it an excellent plant-based protein(Calling all vegetarians!). It’s also gluten-free, making it a safe grain for those who are not able to tolerate gluten. 

Another great feature about quinoa is that it cooks faster than most grains, which is great when you’re in a rush to get dinner on the table. Before cooking, rinse your quinoa in a mesh strainer to make sure all the saponins (bitter layer) are removed. Cook your quinoa in 2 parts water per 1 dry cup of quinoa at medium-low heat in a saucepan for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. For fluffy quinoa remove from heat once the water is absorbed and cover for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. 

Quinoa is super versatile as we have demonstrated below with a wide range of tasty recipes. The most popular way it’s used is in place of rice; add it to your burritos, bowls, stir-frys, etc.  We have rounded up our favorite 10 healthy recipes to share how quinoa can be used in many different ways.

Breakfast:

Bowls:

Pro tip: While quinoa is a great substitution for rice, it has a very different taste and texture.Tru combining ½ rice, ½ quinoa to get the best of both worlds! 

Salads:

Pro tip: Add ½-1 cup of cooked quinoa to your favorites salad for extra protein and texture! 

Soup:

Snacks:

Now get experimenting and enjoy this ancient grain yourself!