These recipes are perfect if you want to get some serious plant-based protein in AND you want something great for your taste buds. Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wa, tastes similar to a grain but is actually a seed. Quinoa has become an extremely popular health food for its high protein content. This little seed provides all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein! As a protein powerhouse, quinoa is perfect for everyone as a vegetarian protein source.
Quinoa grows in numerous varieties but the most popularly cultivated kinds are red, black, and white. This seed can also be made into flakes and flour. It is gluten free and high in fiber as well as a great source for iron and magnesium. Find quinoa near the rice section in your grocery store. You can substitute quinoa for rice in a variety of dishes (it cooks faster than rice too!). Expect a slightly nutty flavor. The perfect thing about quinoa is that it is so versatile. Test quinoa as a dessert or dinner dish as well as in baking.
Below are three delicious and diverse recipes that include this beneficial seed. Prepping a large amount of quinoa before your busy week will make these recipes quick and easy.
1 cup of dry quinoa makes about 3 cups of cooked quinoa
1 cup of cooked quinoa = 8g of protein
BREAKFAST: Quinoa Yogurt Parfait
This quinoa yogurt parfait is a delicious and easy breakfast dish.
1 cup of chilled quinoa (any variety)
1-2 servings of fresh fruit (roughly chopped, any fruit will do: apple, pear, berries, peaches, etc.)
3/4 cup of Greek yogurt (I used vanilla but any flavor will do!)
1 tsp milled flax seed (optional)
Handful of nuts (any variety)
Dash of cinnamon
- Mix fruit and cinnamon together
- Alternate layering quinoa, fruit, nuts, and yogurt in a bowl or cup
- Sprinkle the top with flax seed
- You can eat right away or store in the fridge for a day so that the parfait has time to settle. Delicious!
Alternative: No yogurt? Simply put quinoa, fruit, and a healthy splash of milk into the microwave for about a minute for a delicious quinoa porridge.
LUNCH: Hummus Quinoa Wrap
I love this simple and delicious hummus quinoa wrap. You can use any fresh veggies you have on hand. Add different sauces for some variety. This is a filling and healthy vegetarian meal.
1 Large Tortillas or Pita Bread
Hummus (hummus is blended chickpeas/garbanzo beans)
0.25 cup of cooked quinoa
Sliced fresh veggies (try using cucumber, bell pepper, onion, avocado, or tomato!)
Desired sauce (optional but you could put a bit of ranch, mayo, or mustard)
A couple leaves of fresh spinach
- Spread a layer of hummus on the tortilla or pita bread
- Add your desired sauce(s)
- Layer spinach leaves
- Add quinoa and desired veggies
- Roll up your wrap and enjoy!
DINNER: Vegetarian Quinoa Sushi.
1 cup of uncooked quinoa
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespons sugar
Dash of salt
For the sushi roll:
When it comes to the ingredients in your sushi roll, you can mix it up to your preference and what you have on hand. The ingredients below are my favorite.
2 sheets of Nori (seaweed wrap)
0.25 of a cucumber, sliced like matchsticks
1 tbsp of cream cheese
Half of avocado, sliced
Half of carrot, sliced like matchsticks or grated thin
Bowl of water
Bamboo roller (optional)
For dipping: (optional)
Spicy mayo (japanese mayo mixed with sriracha)
- Cook quinoa normally. Once all the water evaporates, take off burner. Pour sugar, vinegar, and salt into the hot pot. You want the quinoa to be sticky so that your sushi roll sticks together. Mix quinoa, cooling the mixture. If your mixture is still too hot, set inside the freezer for our few minutes while you cut your veggies.
- Lay a piece of plastic wrap on your bamboo roller. If you don’t have a bamboo roller, just use plastic wrap.
- Take out a sheet of nori and place it rough side up on top of plastic wrap.
- Spread cooled and sticky quinoa mixture on top of the rough side of the nori. Use a spatula or your hands to get an even texture. Since the quinoa will be sticky, use the bowl of water to dip your hands and spatula in.
- Once your quinoa is spread evenly on your whole nori, set your veggies and cream cheese in an even line in the front quarter of the nori.
- Now, it is time to start rolling! Roll from front to back, attempting to keep a tight roll. If this is your first time rolling sushi, do not expect perfection. I ate plenty of falling apart rolls and the taste is still absolutely delicious!
- You can wrap your sushi roll in the plastic wrap to save or cut right away to eat. Use a long, sharp knife that has been dipped in water to get the best cut.