10 Tasty Ways with Quinoa

quinoa
With its nutty taste and light, fluffy texture, it’s no wonder quinoa is on everyone’s shopping list.

This gluten-free grain has taken kitchens worldwide by storm. Available in a rainbow of colours, it’s as easy to cook as rice and just as versatile. Here are 10 ways to put quinoa on your menu today:

1. Burgers
Vegetarian burgers are a great option for Meatless Monday. Our flavourful Lemon Chickpea Quinoa Burger will become a family favourite.

2. Salads
Make salads heartier by adding quinoa to them or use the grain as the base. Easy to transport, quinoa salads also make a great lunchtime staple.
Try it with our Grapefruit, Blackberry & Arugula Quinoa Salad or Quinoa Tabbouleh.

3. Cookies and Cakes
Quinoa is available as flour and in flakes (which look like rolled oats) — both help make favourite desserts into gluten-free treats everyone can enjoy. In our Flourless Chocolate Quinoa Cake, we pulse the quinoa in a food processor until smooth.

4. Pancakes
Transform a favourite pancake recipe into a hearty breakfast by adding a cup of cooked quinoa to the batter before it hits the griddle.

5. Granola Bars
Making granola bars at home is a fun and easy way to customize this grab-and-go snack. Puffed, flaked, cooked and raw quinoa are all fantastic additions to any granola bar recipe.

6. Croquettes
An impressive appetizer or simple lunch, our Quinoa, Feta, & Kale Croquettes in Pitas won’t disappoint. Leftovers croquettes can be frozen for a quick meal option on a busy weeknight.

7. Pizza Crust
Believe it or not, quinoa makes a top-notch pizza crust. Start by soaking 3/4 cup of uncooked quinoa in water overnight. Drain and rinse the quinoa and place it in a blender with 1/4 cup water, 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Line a round cake pan with parchment paper, brush with oil and pour the quinoa mix into the pan. Make sure to smooth out the batter. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F and then remove the parchment, turn the crust and bake it for another 10 minutes. Voila!

8. Meatballs and Meatloaf
Give family favourites a gluten-free twist by substituting breadcrumbs for cooked quinoa. Meatloaf night is a great way to use leftover quinoa that was batch-cooked at the beginning of the week.

9. Stuffing
No longer reserved for holidays, this traditionally heavy dish is light enough for weeknight meals when made with quinoa.
Try: Sweet Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa & Vegetables

10. Porridge
Oatmeal fans looking to mix up their breakfast routine will love quinoa porridge. Topped with fruit, nut butter or a fried egg, it’s a breakfast worth getting out of bed for.
Try: Quinoa Porridge with Fruit

Quinoa 101

With so many tasty options, from breakfast to dinner, cooking a big pot of Compliments Organic Quinoa on the weekend will help you get a head start on your meals for the rest of the week.

When shopping for the grain, remember darker varieties of quinoa (red and black) have a much stronger flavour than the lighter varieties (white and golden).

Cooking Right
The key to successfully cooking a batch of quinoa lies in the prep work. Naturally coated in a bitter outer layer of saponins, quinoa needs to be rinsed before cooking. Skipping the rinsing process results in the cooked grain having a pronounced bitter flavour.

When cooking the grain, the ratio of liquid to quinoa is 2:1. Place the quinoa and liquid in a pot and bring them to a boil (some cooks like to toast quinoa until fragrant before adding the liquid, but it isn’t necessary). Then drop the heat, cover the pot and cook for around 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender. For fluffier grains, leave the pot covered and standing for a further five minutes. Then run a fork through the quinoa to loosen the grains and serve.

Stock Options

To give quinoa an added layer of savoury goodness, try substituting the water in a recipe with broth or stock, or add a crumbled bouillon cube to the water. Other aromatics like bay leaves, cinnamon and fresh ginger can be added to complement quinoa’s delicately earthy flavour. Quinoa also pairs well with bright flavours such as citrus, herbs like cilantro and parsley and fresh and dried fruit like apples, apricots and cranberries.