Quinoa has become one of the world's most popular foods, as it is gluten-free, high in protein, full of fibre and jam-packed full of nutrients. You will find it in breakfast bowls, soups, sandwiches and salads, with a wide variety of uses and delicious combinations.
I personally enjoy cooking with quinoa, as it is quick to make and it has a hearty, nutty flavour. It isn't a particularly strong flavour, but it bulks out a meal and makes you feel fuller, for longer. These 3 recipes below are ones which I use regularly - for breakfast, lunch and dinner...
Ingredients: 1 cup white quinoa (put in a mesh sieve and rinse under the water), 2 cups light milk, 2 Tablespoons raw sugar, 2 Tablespoons honey, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence.
In a medium saucepan, add the milk and bring to the simmer very slowly over low heat. Move the milk around with a wooden spoon so it doesn't burn the bottom of the pan. When it starts to simmer, add the drained quinoa and stir. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and continue to stir for another 5 - 10 minutes until the liquid has gone. Stir in the vanilla essence. Serve in a bowl with a dollop of vanilla yoghurt, frozen raspberries, chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey.
2/ Quinoa Tabbouleh
Ingredients: 1/2 cup quinoa ((put in a mesh sieve and rinse under the water), 2 tomatoes (de-seeded and finely chopped), 2 shallots (finely chopped), 4 Tablespoons parsley (chopped), 4 Tablespoons mint (chopped), 3 Tablespoons lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons olive oil.
In a small saucepan, add the drained quinoa with 1 and 1/2 cups of water and boil for 15 minutes, stirring often. When the water has evaporated and the quinoa looks open and fluffy, remove from heat and cool down. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, shallots, parsley, mint, lemon juice and olive oil. Stir in the quinoa and serve as a part of a salad, in a wrap or a freshly-made sandwich.
Ingredients: 1 red onion (chopped), 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped), 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons sweet paprika, 1 Tablespoon tomato paste, 400g can chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1/3 cup white quinoa (rinsed under water in a sieve first), 400g can chopped tomatoes, 3 cups vegetable stock.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, cumin and sweet paprika and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and stir for a further minute until combined. Add the drained chickpeas, drained quinoa, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring near the end so it doesn't stick to the bottom. Blend with a stick blender until smooth.
Why don't you try one of these fresh and fragrant recipes this weekend?