I’m kinda obsessed with quinoa. I actually used to eat it nearly everyday (not exaggerating) but I’ve calmed down a bit and now only 3-4 times a week.
Quinoa is a “grain-like” seed that contains many nutrients including essential amino acids, calcium, and iron. It’s also a great source of protein (especially great for vegetarians!) I don’t believe in diets but I do believe in eating nutritiously. Quinoa makes this very easy.
In addition to the nutritional value of quinoa, I love how versatile it is. Quinoa can be prepared as a substitute or complement for nearly every meal – no exaggeration here. It brings new meaning to superfood! Here are 8 easy ways to prepare quinoa and to benefit from all it has to offer!
1. Use quinoa as a replacement for rice or pasta. Disclaimer: quinoa still has a good amount of calories; in fact, quinoa has more calories than brown rice (as you can see below). However, we all know that not every calorie is the same. The main benefits in consuming quinoa versus brown rice are the additional nutrients, iron levels, and protein. When comparing quinoa versus pasta, you consume less calories* and more iron and protein. Overall, quinoa is a great replacement for both rice and pasta.
*(the chart below assumes a very small serving size for pasta which is not realistic – when assuming the same serving sizes, pasta has more calories)
2. Prepare quinoa with a broth or soup instead of water. Rather than using 2 parts water and 1 part quinoa when preparing, use 2 parts broth and follow the same process. This gives the quinoa a bit more flavor. Consider using chicken broth, tomato soup, or even miso depending on what you’ll eat the quinoa with.
3. Simply just add some cheese. I used to do this when I didn’t have time to get to the grocery store and found quinoa in my pantry and cheese in my fridge. It’s actually rather tasty and easy – prepare your quinoa and throw in some cheese (parmesan is great) and maybe Sriracha sauce or Tabasco.
4. Make into a “super salad”. Prepare your quinoa and add into a tasty salad with some other superfoods like kale and edamame, along with cucumbers, arugula, tomatoes, basil, and any other veggie you like. Add some balsamic vinegar and lime for additional flavor and you have yourself a hearty, nutritious meal.
5. Add cinnamon and eat for breakfast. Great for those cinnamon lovers out there.
6. Put aside your granola and use quinoa with your Greek yogurt and fruit. Granola typically has a lot of added sugar without a lot of nutritional value. Try using quinoa instead. Just make sure that your quinoa is at room temperature or colder. I recommend preparing quinoa with water and keeping in the fridge for this purpose.
7. Make quinoa patties. This is actually a rather easy recipe – after preparing your quinoa, mix it with 1 egg, some veggies (mushrooms, basil, peppers), and spices (garlic powder, chili pepper, salt, pepper) to make patties in a pan.
8. Make quinoa pancakes – this is an easy recipe I recently created: “quinoa pancakes with love“.