Despite all the health nuts who praise the nutritional value and benefits of the stuff, there is no escaping the fact that quinoa the grain by itself is… just dull.
Yes, much like with rice and pasta, it doesn’t make much of a dish alone. However there are a whole range of ways we can make quinoa, well, not boring.
Here are some reminders as to why quinoa is heralded as a miracle food…
Quinoa contains an abundance of proteins as well as all nine essential amino acids that are required by the body. In combination these act as building blocks for muscles, and help develop new body tissues. In fact, its protein content also makes it a heaven-sent super food to people undergoing weight loss programs.
Quinoa also boasts (get ready for this): Magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, lysine, potassium, and iron. This particular combination of nutrients and antioxidant materials helps to prevent both cell damage and cardiovascular disease.
Furthermore, it’s rich in fiber. This helps lower cholesterol levels, maintaining a healthy heart, and also a low glycemic index, which helps to keep blood-sugar levels low.
Ok, so I’ve told you why you should be having it, but what about taste?
Despite its fairly bland natural form, there are plenty of brilliant recipes out there that make use of quinoa. Here are 14 ways to make quinoa not… boring.
Quinoa Avocado Spinach Power Salad
This gluten-free, vegan salad made with quinoa, avocado, spinach, cherry tomatoes is a delicious way to work your daily fruits and veggies into your day. You can change up the recipe by switching out or adding other vegetables, or using a different dressing. With this Power Salad, the choice is up to you.
by Kaitlin @ The Garden Grazer
Quinoa Pizza Bites
If you’re looking for an easy way to make gluten-free pizza at home, or you just want to enjoy fun, bite-sized pizza, you should try making these quinoa pizza bites. You will need an egg, some Italian seasonings, and marinara sauce for dipping. This recipe can easily be made in a muffin tin.
by Jessica @ Jessica in the Kitchen
Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
This recipe is a spin on enchiladas that adds the health benefits of quinoa, like protein and fiber. It’s as simple as mixing all of your usual enchilada ingredients in a bowl, plus the cooked quinoa, and topping it with cheese before baking. The recipe serves 6, so it’s perfect for a family dinner, or to eat throughout the week.
by Chungah @ Damn Delicious
Chocolate Chip Quinoa Trail Mix Balls
The easiest way to get healthy, great-tasting trail mix is to make it yourself. These trail mix balls combine shredded coconut, oats, chocolate chips, dried fruit, and quinoa to make a tasty treat you can carry with you wherever you go. Just make sure you keep them somewhere safe so they don’t melt in your pocket.
by Jenna @ Eat, Live, Run
Quinoa Granola Bars
by Sarah @ Feasts for All Seasons
Thai Veggie Quinoa Bowls
Garlic, ginger, green onion, and sesame seeds give this quinoa bowl the great taste and flavor you experience from Thai food. Who knew you could spin quinoa into a Thai dish? The recipe is also gluten free and vegan, and uses plenty of crunchy veggies for a perfect mix of textures.
by Vicky @ Avocado Pesto
Zesty Sriracha Shrimp and Quinoa
by Julie @ Julie’s Eats and Treats
Black Bean & Quinoa Veggie Burgers
Have you ever had a veggie burger made with egg, corn, black beans, oats, and quinoa? Don’t knock it before you try it – these burgers might surprise you. This is a great alternative to expensive meat substitutes, and they can even be made in large batches and frozen for later.
by Nicole @ Prevention RD
Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
Chili doesn’t always have to be made with meat. Replace the meat with quinoa for this vegetarian quinoa chili. It can also be made vegan and dairy-free if you choose not to add the optional shredded cheese or sour cream toppings. This recipe is perfect if you’re looking to make some healthy comfort food.
by Jaclyn @ Cooking Classy
Sesame Quinoa Spring Rolls
Buffalo Quinoa Bites
These quinoa bites are a spin on the classic buffalo wings with blue cheese dip. Making these bites involves no meat – just beans, bread crumbs, an egg, and buffalo sauce. You can fry them in a pan or toss them into an air fryer. You also have the option to stick with the classic blue cheese dip or fill the quinoa balls with blue cheese chunks.
by Betsy @ Betsylife
Blueberry Banana Quinoa Muffins
If you were looking for a way to incorporate quinoa into your breakfast routine, you have to give these quinoa muffins a try. This recipe uses raspberries, but you can mix it up by using different berries or eating them with extra fruit or yogurt on the side. They’re also easy to take on the go for a portable breakfast..
by Christine @ Food Addict and Fitness Fantatic
Puffed Quinoa Peanut Butter Balls
by Angela @ Vegangela
Quinoa Banana Bread
by Felicia @ Dish by Dish
What’s your best quinoa recipe? Leave it in the comments below!