Ingredient Spotlight: Quinoa

Quinoa. You pronounce it “Keen-wah.” It’s definitely a fun ingredient to hear people try to pronounce.

What is it? Quinoa is often mistaken as a grain, but it is actually a seed and is related to leafy greens like spinach and swiss chard. These little seeds are packed full of nutrition as it is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. It is also high in magnesium, iron and phosphorous as well as a good source of fiber, vitamin E and several B vitamins. Plus, it is gluten-free! When it is cooked it has a fluffly, slightly crunchy texture and a mild, kind of a nutty flavor to it.

You can usually find it at the store with the grains, but if it is not there make sure to check the health food sections or specific gluten-free sections as each store may keep it in different areas. You can also find it in the bulk bins at stores like Whole Foods.

Aside from all the nutritional benefits from quinoa, I love how versatile it is. It cooks quickly and will keep in the fridge for a few days, is good hot and cold, can be used as an alternative to brown rice or other grains, can be eaten for breakfast like oatmeal, for lunch in a salad, or for dinner in a casserole or soup. There are endless ways to enjoy it. Here are some recipes to get your started!

Warm & Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa 

Breakfast Grain Salad w/ Blueberries, Hazelnuts & Lemon

Quinoa Burgers

Quinoa w/ Spring Veggies & Walnut Kale Pesto

Quinoa Fried Rice

Cheese & Veggie Quinoa Bites

 How do you use Quinoa?

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