Quinoa recipes are enjoying their time in the limelight these days, with good reason. Rich in protein, dietary fiber, and calcium, quinoa is an excellent alternative to whole wheat. Perfect for gluten free recipes, you may be surprised at the number of various ways quinoa can be prepared. Enjoy!

Quinoa Lasagna

This recipe was definitely my favorite. It might sound weird, but it is actually quite tasty. The quinoa takes on the flavor of the sauce and the cheese quite well.

Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa

4 Roma tomatoes

1 medium white onion

1 lb hamburger meat

2 cans of tomato sauce (8 oz. each)

8 oz. mozzarella cheese

8 oz. Parmesan cheese

8 oz. ricotta cheese

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp salt

2 tsp oregano

2 garlic cloves, minced

 Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Bring quinoa and 2 cups of water to boil. Simmer until all the water is gone. Set aside.

3. While the quinoa is cooking, chop the tomatoes into chunks and the onion into small pieces.

4. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a large skillet. Then brown the hamburger meat with the onion and garlic until fully cooked.

5. Next simmer the tomato sauce, tomatoes, salt, and oregano with the hamburger meat until hot.

6. While everything is simmering, crumble the mozzarella cheese in a food processor or by hand. Grate the Parmesan cheese.

7. Take the sauce off of the heat and spoon a layer of it in the bottom of a 13×9” glass pan. Now layer the quinoa on top, followed by a layer of cheese. Pour the rest of the sauce on top and then cover with the remainder of the cheese.

8. Put into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Makes 6-8 servings.

Cherry and Quinoa Salad

Another delicious recipe, this one would be perfect for having guests over. The balance of different yummy flavors makes the salad prep totally worth it.

Tip: To pit the cherries, remove the stem. Then take a straw and push it through the hole where the stem was. Continue pushing until the seed pops out the other end. Be sure to wear an apron over your clothes, as the cherry juice is prone to stain.

For the salad:

2/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted and halved

½ cup coarsely chopped cashews

½ cup dried apricots, cut into thin slivers

¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

1 small head red leaf lettuce, torn

Instructions:

1. Cook the quinoa in 1 cup water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, and then fluff with a fork.

2. Toss quinoa, cherries, cashews, apricots, and onion in a small bowl. Put the lettuce in a large bowl and pour the quinoa mixture over it, tossing together.

3. Serve with the Honey Ginger Vinaigrette. Makes 5-7 servings.

For the vinaigrette:

¼ cup honey

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 small clove garlic, crushed

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

1. Peel the ginger and then grate it over a small bowl. Strip the garlic of its outer layer and use a garlic press to crush it into the bowl as well.

2. Add the honey, vinegar, and lime juice. Whisk together, and then begin adding the oil in small amounts, continuing to whisk until oil is gone.

3. Finally add the salt and pepper and whisk until everything is well mixed. Store up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Vegetarian Stir Fry with Quinoa

Quinoa is most often used as a side dish to many recipes, such as this stir fry. It is the perfect healthy alternative to white rice.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups of broccoli, chopped

1 cup snap peas

10-14 mushrooms, sliced in half

3 green onions, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger

2-3 Tbs. sesame oil

2 cups quinoa

 Instructions:

1. Rinse quinoa and bring to a boil in 4 cups water. Then simmer until all the water is gone. Set aside.

2. Stir fry the rest of the ingredients, except for the mushrooms, in sesame oil until soft.

3. Add in the mushrooms and cover until they are tender.

4. Serve with quinoa and add gluten free soy sauce if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Quinoa Pilaf

This recipe is an excellent side dish to meat or stir fry. It makes a large batch, so consider halving it for a smaller number of people.

Ingredients:

3 cups quinoa, uncooked

1 cup almonds, sliced

½ cup carrot, diced

½ cup green onion, diced

¼ cup celery, diced

¼ cup green pepper, diced

¼ cup sweet red pepper, diced

¼ cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

¼ teaspoon oregano

Salt to taste

Instructions:

1. In a large pot, cook the quinoa in 6 cups water. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat. Simmer until all the water is absorbed and then remove from heat.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, sauté vegetables in olive oil until semi-transparent. Stir in oregano and then add the vegetables to the fully cooked quinoa. Thoroughly combine and add salt, if desired.

3. In a skillet, dry roast the almonds. They burn easily so keep an eye on them and stir frequently. The almonds are done when they have turned golden.

4. Add the almonds to the pilaf and stir everything together. Makes 8-10 servings.

Quinoa Vegetable Soup

Like most soups, this one is open to substitution and experimentation. Feel free to substitute these vegetables with whatever you have on hand. Also, you may want to come up with your own spice blend. For instance, consider adding 2 cubes of Better than Bouillon and using a few teaspoons of Mrs. Dash.

Ingredients:

4 cups water

½ cup tomatoes, chopped

½ cup cabbage, chopped

¼ cup quinoa

½ cup carrots, diced

¼ cup celery, diced

¼ cup green pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbs onion, chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp black pepper

Chopped parsley to taste

Instructions:

1. In a large skillet, sauté quinoa, carrots, celery, green pepper, onion, and garlic in about 2 tablespoons of oil, enough to keep from burning.

2. Once the vegetables and quinoa are golden brown, transfer to a large pot and add the water, tomatoes, and cabbage. Also add the spices.

3. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Sprinkle parsley on top and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Quinoa Granola

This simple recipe is the perfect healthy snack. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

¾ cup uncooked quinoa

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

½ cup whole and/or slivered almonds

¼ cup whole flax seeds or 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds

¼ cup honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup dried cherries, cranberries, golden raisins, and/or slivered dried apricots

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Microwave the honey in a small microwave-safe bowl for 20 seconds on high. Remove the honey from the microwave and whisk in the oil, cinnamon, and salt.

3. Mix together the quinoa, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and flaxseeds in a large bowl. Now pour the honey mixture over it and stir to coat thoroughly.

4. In a 15x10x1” baking pan, spread granola mixture evenly. Put it in the oven uncovered and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Stir twice. Remove from the oven and mix in dried fruit.

5. Let the granola cool for about 15 minutes. Then transfer from the pan to a large sheet of foil, letting it cool completely.

6. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serves 13.

Quinoa Pudding

This recipe is excellent when served for breakfast. Try the next recipe for another tasty breakfast alternative.

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

3 cups coconut milk

⅓ cup honey

½ cup ground almonds or walnuts

½ cup raisins

½ cup shredded coconut

3 eggs

1 tsp oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp lemon or orange rind, grated

⅛ tsp salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Bring quinoa to a boil in 2 cups water. Simmer until all the water is gone.

3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add all of the liquid ingredients and the spices, then the remainder of the dry ingredients. Mix well.

4. Grease a 9×9” baking dish with cooking spray or butter. Pour in the quinoa mixture.

5. Bake for 45 minutes until pudding is set. Serve hot or cold. Makes 4-6 servings.

Hot Breakfast Cereal

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

½ cup apples, sliced thinly

1/3 cup raisins

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

1. In a medium saucepan, boil 2 cups of water. Then add quinoa and lower heat to a simmer.

2. After simmering for 5 minutes, add apples, raisins, and cinnamon.

3. Continue to simmer until all the water is absorbed. Makes 2-3 servings.

Serving Suggestions: Just like oatmeal, this quinoa recipe is great with milk and brown sugar. Consider using cream and/or honey as an alternative.