Let's face it, certain foods take a while to warm to and, for some, quinoa falls firmly in that pack. It's a little earthy and a lot nutty, its texture fluffy like couscous but more al dente, and it's abundant with protein, iron and fibre. It's our pert opinion that the following recipes will turn quinoa haters into repeat eaters.
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5 Sep 2014 - 12:12 PM  UPDATED 11 Sep 2014 - 10:14 AM

1. Add it to old favourites

Quinoa's protein content is high, in fact roughly equal to that of milk, due to a high concentration of amino acids. So adding it to foods you already love is a fast track to meeting your protein needs. If you're a fan of quiche Lorraine, depart France for South America, where this rustic quinoa quiche is made with spinach, leek, dill, feta and eggs.

2. Quinoa is also a picnic food

Pile quinoa into flatbread as you would rice in a burrito. The result is mighty filling and the beauty is you can pair it with so many ingredients. Raw beetroot is a favourite as it comes off fresher than cooked, especially when combined with apple and goat's cheese. These beetroot, apple and goat's cheese wraps come to us via Green Kitchen Stories.

3. It adds substance in a flash

To make a more substantial meal outta soup, serve it with a garnish of quinoa spiced with za'atar, sumac and chilli. It gives the soup texture and an added warmth from the Middle Eastern spices. If you have leftover cooked quinoa in the fridge, this butternut pumpkin and quinoa soup is a great way to use it up.

Butternut pumpkin and quinoa soup

4. A mixed palette for your palate

This salad is just gagging to be served at your next dinner party. Quinoa comes in an assortment of colours – black, red, white, sometimes pink – which, if little else, adds that all-important quotient of pretty. Serve this winter leaf and apple salad with crispy quinoa on one large platter. Via the food dept.

5. Healthy desserts never felt so good

With no sugar, cream or butter, this is a fab dessert that in many circles would qualify as healthy. It’s also gluten-free, using almond meal and quinoa in the crumble instead of flour. Try it and see why this baked rhubarb with rosewater, quinoa crumble and whipped ricotta makes sweet music in our mouths.

6. It's not unusual

In this South American quinoa risotto, the grains are cooked "risotto-style", leaving you with a soft and creamy mouthfeel without the starchiness of rice. The addition of mixed mushrooms, parmesan and ground cumin results in a weeknight meal you'll want to cook on repeat.

7. Vegetarians can't get enough

This too-easy recipe for Moroccan quinoa cakes proves quinoa truly is a chameleon. You might recognise it in porridge at pricey hipster cafes (see below), you've seen it in risotto 2.0 (see above), and now it's reinvented in a stack of spiced patties served with a dollop of creamy hummus. What next, quinoa? Via The Whimsical Wife

8. Glorious mornings ahead

Indulgent yet entirely good for you, this bircher museli features quinoa, barley, plus plenty of other wholegrains, along with seeds, cinnamon and fresh fruit. This multi-grain bircher muesli comes to us from author and wholefoods teacher Tony Chiodo. Man knows his breakfast foods.

9. Leftovers + quinoa = brave new dishes

Looking for a festive holiday recovery recipe? Then this Mexican-inspired turkey and quinoa salad is it. The reliably nutty grain adds substance and makes use of leftover roast turkey to boot.

10. Gluten-free favourite

Unbeknownst to some, quinoa seeds can be milled into a flour, which forms the basis of these simple yet scrumptious little cocoa sponge cakes. Via gluten-free goddess Rowie Dillon.

 

You know you love it

View our complete quinoa recipe collection

(Also, quinoa is pronounced keen-wah. We probably should have said that earlier.)

 

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