5 Ways to Add Quinoa to Your Favorite Dishes

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Quinoa is a fantastic source of protein and is also gluten free.

Its mild taste makes it very versatile with a variety of dishes. Here are five ways you can add this healthy grain to your favorite dishes. 

1. Add to your favorite salad

There are two ways you can serve quinoa on a salad. First, you can cook it over the stove and add it to your salad. It will absorb many of the flavors of your salad and will give it a unique texture.

The second way is to toast the quinoa grains. When you toast quinoa it gives it a nutty taste, making it a great topping on any salad.

Toasting quinoa is simple. Just put it in a dry frying pan over medium heat. Stir it frequently for about five minutes until it begins to crackle and gives off an aroma. Once done, rinse it thoroughly in a colander.

2. Have it as a side dish

It pairs well with seafood, poultry, or pork. First, toast your quinoa. Then sauté some onion, chiles, and garlic. Add the quinoa and some broth to the pan and allow to simmer. Cover and cook until most of the liquid is gone and the quinoa is tender.

3. Fried quinoa

If you like fried rice, then you’ll really love fried quinoa. Plus, it’s a healthier alternative to traditional fried rice.

First, start by toasting the quinoa. Then add the quinoa and some chicken broth to a pan and allow to simmer until the liquid is mostly gone. Take the quinoa out and spread on a baking sheet. Then sauté some garlic and ginger. Add some vegetables and cook until tender. Add some soy sauce, the quinoa, and pepper to the vegetables, stirring frequently until cooked through. Eat it alone or paired with eggs over easy.

4. Use quinoa in stuffed bell peppers

Instead of using rice, try substituting quinoa in making stuffed bell peppers. Boil quinoa in two cups of water. Let the water cook off and fluff the quinoa. Add to your favorite stuffed bell peppers recipe for a healthier alternative. 

5. Quinoa pilaf

Quinoa is a great alternative to traditional rice pilaf. First, it’s healthier and second, it absorbs all the flavors of your favorite recipe.

Here’s a quinoa pilaf recipe to try: Sauté some onion and diced carrots until crisp and tender. Add garlic and cook a little longer. Then add quinoa and some chicken broth and salt to the vegetable mixture. Stir and allow to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the liquid is mostly cooked off. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick. Fluff with a fork and serve as a side dish. It goes great with steak.


As you can see, quinoa makes a great substitute for any rice dish. So the next time you reach for the rice, try quinoa instead. It’s a grain high in protein, making it a great super food that’s very versatile. 

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Published on: January 4, 2016

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