Archive for the ‘Quinoa’ Category

ALMOND QUINOA PROTEIN GRANOLA BALLS

I do love my No Bake Protein Cookies…yes, I do.  But, for some people (and I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud) chocolate isn’t wanted.  These are full of good-for-you carbs and not too sweet.

These are prefect for mid-afternoon cravings and have enough protein to hold you over till dinner.  Or grab one for breakfast with your pro shake.

For this batch I added in things that I had on hand – but use any nut, NSA dried fruit, chocolate chunks (ooops!  some sneaked in…well, darn), whatever you want to customize for your own tastes.

 **For the balls in the photo I used roasted, salted cashews and almonds, and dried cherries.

Variations that I LOVE:

~ 1/4 cup almonds, crushed, 1/4 cup sun seeds, 2 tablespoons finely chopped dates, drop or two of almond extract

~ 1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped, 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, 2 tablespoons crushed dried banana chips, drop or two of coconut extract

~ 1/4 cup walnuts, crushed, 1/4 cup pecans, crushed, 2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate

~ 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, crushed, 1/4 unsweetened coconut, 2 tablespoons finely chopped NSA dried pineapple, drop or two of coconut extract



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1/2 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)

1 1/2 tablespoons Agave nectar (or honey)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1/4 rounded cup COOKED quinoa  (cooking instructions below)

1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped

1/4 cup cashews,  finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped dried cranberries/cherries/raisins/etc

1/2 cup vanilla protein powder

1-2 tablespoons water – AS NEEDED  (see below)

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To cook quinoa (this will make more than needed):

1 cup water

1/2 cup rinsed quinoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

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In a small saucepan combine the water, quinoa, and salt.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 18-19 minutes.  All the water should be absorbed and the “tail” or white ring of each seed should be visible.  Fluff with fork.  Leave uncovered and set aside to cool slightly.

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In a bowl stir together the almond butter, Agave, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.  Add oats, quinoa, cranberries, almonds, cashews, and protein powder.  Stir together until very well combined.   If too dry, add 1-3 tablespoons water – 1 tblsp at a time.  (The mixture should be moist and sticky, but not wet.)

In generous 1/8th cup portions, roll into balls, without pressing too hard, and place on waxed paper to set up.  Store in an air-tight container.

OR line an 8×8 inch square pan with waxed paper, extending up two sides.  Press the mixture into it the prepared pan.  Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour.  Lift the mixture out of the pan with the waxed paper and cut into 10 bars.  Makes 10 pieces.  Store in an air-tight container.

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Per ball: Calories 190; Protein 10g; Tot Fat 8g; NET Carb 14g; Sugar 4g; Sodium 88mg

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QUINOA CORN EDAMAME SALAD

It is no secret that I love quinoa and eat it every chance I get!  This salad is a re-make and a new favorite of mine – very light, summery, and fresh.  The original had barley, but quinoa is so…NOW!  I also cut the amount of corn in half, and added the edamame, some chili powder, and lime.  It’s a completely different salad than what I started with and, frankly, I’m thrilled!

These are fabulously complex carbs that give staying power to fuel you up.  And the added protein from the quinoa and the edamame keeps you full longer.   (You could add some diced chicken to this, if you felt so inclined.)

It may seem like you won’t have enough dressing, but it’s just right.

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2 cups frozen, shelled, edamame

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup cooked, cooled quinoa (leftover is great)

1 green onion, sliced (just green parts)

1/2 red sweet bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash cayenne

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Briefly boil the edamame and the corn, just until tender.  Drain very well and cool completely.

In a large bowl combine the edamame, corn, quinoa, green onion, red pepper, and cilantro.  In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, salt, chili powder, black pepper, thyme and cayenne until emulsified.  Drizzle over the salad and toss to coat.  Cover and chill for at least two hours.  Makes approx 8 (1/2 cup) servings.

Per Serving: Calories 133; Protein 7 g; Fat 6 g; Carbs 14 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 82 mg

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QUINOA PUDDING

Well, well!  I’ve been thinking about trying to do this for a long time and have found a new favorite!  Made with quinoa, this dish has a nuttiness and a little more “chew” than traditional rice pudding where the rice gets very soft.  

I’ve given a simple vanilla recipe here, but made with part coconut milk, almond milk, or added cocoa powder, spices, or citrus zest, there can be lots of  variations.  (And I can’t wait to try them all!)

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Quinoa does have quite a few carbs – which sort of goes against my low-carb approach to eating – but with more protein than rice, it is absorbed more slowly into the system and, therefore, doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar or carb cravings…for me at least.  And that’s a very good thing!

(White rice has a glycemic load of approx 23, quinoa as a glycemic load of approx 13.  This is a link of common questions concerning GL and GI info, if you’re interested.)

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1 1/4 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup fat free half & half
1/4 cup Splenda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve and well drained
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste (or a vanilla bean, split and scraped)

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1/4 cup heavy whipping cream + 1 tablespoon Splenda

Cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, pumpkin pie spice, lemon or orange zest, brandy extract, etc.

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In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring milk and half & half to a boil. Add the Splenda, salt, quinoa, and vanilla extract/paste.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 min, stirring frequently.  Cool.

Transfer to a dish, and chill, completely.   Whip the 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon Splenda until quite stiff; fold into the chilled pudding.

(You may eat it warm before adding the whipped cream, but it’s SO good after!)

Makes approx 6 servings (1/3 cup each)

Per Serving: Calories 130; Protein 5 g; Fat 4 g; NET Carbs 16 g; (Fiber 1 g); Sugar 6 g; Sodium 140 mg

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BROCCOLI-QUINOA CASSEROLE


 You remember this dish… from every church pot luck, community cookbook, and Gramma’s table.  Yes, THAT broccoli-rice casserole.  Bubbly, cheesy, rich, and so very good.  Old-fashioned comfort food, personified.

Since I love using quinoa in everything calling for rice (less starchy, more protein) I thought I’d give it a try in this one.  And it worked just as well.  As you can see in the second photo, it’s the same creamy-dreamy texture and flavor we loved before – only this time it’s not full of rice-carbs that can wreck havoc with blood surgar.  AND the quinoa gives added protein.  How ’bout that?!

I can’t believe how great this turned out!  It’s the perfect side dish for all your meats or a vegetarian option on it’s own.  The old version was a favorite in our house – and now this will DEFINITELY be!

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One 10 oz can condensed Cream of Broccoli soup (or mushroom), low-sodium if you prefer (*see note for gluten free)

1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (original called for 1 full cup. WOW.)

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc)

1/2 teaspoon Splenda/sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Dash freshly grated nutmeg

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2 cups cooked broccoli

1 1/2 cups  COOKED quinoa (see note)

Feshly grated Parmesan cheese

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To cook quinoa:

3/4 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

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Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear.  In a small saucepan combine the quinoa, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and the white ring/tail is visible.  Fluff with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow (8×8 in or 5-6 cups) casserole dish – or individual ramekins – with vegetable cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, Splenda, pepper, and nutmeg until well mixed. Stir in the quinoa and broccoli.
Spoon mixture into prepared casserole.  Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins) or until bubbly on the edges and golden.  Makes 8 generous 1/2-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 199,  Protein 10 g; Fat 9 g; NET Carbs 14 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 297 mg

*NOTE FOR GLUTEN FREE…Progresso makes a Creamy Mushroom Soup that is gluten free…or  here is a recipe for a Cream of Anything Soup.  Haven’t tried it, (a comment-er  below did and loved it…) but it’s been a big hit on a Celiac/Gluten Free forum.)

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Condensed “Cream of Anything” Soup

1 cup cold milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper

Instructions
In a small saucepan, whisk milk and cornstarch till well blended.
Stir in butter, bouillon, salt, and pepper.
Heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer on low for one minute more to thicken.
Use in recipes to replace one can of cream of anything soup.

CONDENSED CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP:
Stir in a drained 4 ounce can of mushroom pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Mushroom Soup.

CONDENSED CREAM OF CHICKEN SOUP:
Stir in 1/2 cup cooked chicken pieces to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Chicken Soup.

CONDENSED CREAM OF CELERY SOUP
Stir in 1/2 cup sautéed chopped celery to the recipe above.
Use in recipes in place of one can of Cream of Celery Soup.

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QUINOA BURGER

So yummy!  If you want a change of pace that’s meat-free, yet full of protein, fiber, and very filling…this might be for you.

I like it with Tzatziki on top (my recipe is in this post), or  a little “fry sauce” (what some drive-ins call that wonderful mayo/ketchup combo), and with a thick slice of tomato, avocado, onion and lettuce, as a burger should be, it’s fab.

Don’t be afraid of Quinoa.  It cooks just like rice – might even be a little easier! – and can be subbed almost straight across in most recipes.   I made Rice Burgers for my kids for years and this is the same recipe, with Quinoa instead.

UPDATE!!   I recently found myself without carrots so used shredded zucchini instead.  WONDERFUL!  And my husband says I have to make them like this from now on.  The measurements are in the recipe, also, if you’re interested.)

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2 rounded cups cooked quinoa (see note below for cooking instructions)

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other variety, if you prefer)

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 medium carrot, finely grated (OR 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry)

3 eggs

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 green onions, including white parts

1 /2 teaspoon  sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Olive oil for frying

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To cook quinoa for the above recipe:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat.  Add quinoa and reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the seeds are tender.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.

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In a large bowl combine the 2 rounded cups of cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.

(To help them stay in patty form and not fall apart, I cook them on med-low slowly so they have longer to set-up without burning.  Makes them easier to flip, too.)  Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat.  Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick.  Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side.   Makes approx. 10 burgers.

Per burger:  Calories 132; Protein 8 g; Fat 5 g; NET Carbs 12 g; (Fiber 2 g); Sugar 0 g; Sodium 200 mg

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QUINOA-GRAPEFRUIT-CUCUMBER SALAD

I saw the inspiration for this on another blog and had to make it.  All the flavors sounded so beautiful together, and they are!

This is a light, summery salad, full of good-for-you carbs and protein from the quinoa.  With a slightly spicy dressing and undertones of fresh mint…what’s not to love?   Serve it with a moist chicken breast or some deli-turkey slices for a very filling lunch.

(Don’t let the carb count of this scare you.  Quinoa is something that doesn’t seem to cause cravings.  I am a carb-craver to the CORE, and have never had a problem with quinoa.)

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2 cups cooked quinoa (directions below)

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

2/3 cup diced grapefruit (see what I used below…reserve juice)

2 green onions (scallions) sliced – green parts only

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced

DRESSING:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar (OR 1 tablespoon honey)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar – regular flavor

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt – or to taste

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In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cucumber, grapefruit, green onions, almonds, and mint.  Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, grapefruit juice, agave, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, pepper, and salt.  Pour over salad and mix well.

I loved it as soon as it was made, but it only got more intense and yummy after it was chilled!

Makes approx. six  1/2-cup servings.

Per Serving: Calories 211; Protein 5 g; Fat 10 g; NET Carbs 20 g; Fiber 2 g; Sugar 7 g; Sodium 59 mg

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Cooking Quinoa:  It cooks like long-grain rice…very easy.  For this salad I cooked it in salted water, but using chicken, beef, or vegetable broth works great, too.  I’ve also done it with half water, half coconut milk for a breakfast cereal-version.

Bring 1 cup water and a little less than 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Stir in 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa.  (Rinse in a fine mesh sieve making sure the water runs clear.  Most on the market – even the bulk stuff – is very clean already.)

Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the white ‘tail’ or ‘ring’ can be seen on each seed.  Fluff with a fork and allow to cool to room temp for this salad.  Or cool, cover and chill for later use.  It should stay nice and fluffy.

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I love the Dole red grapefruit sections that come in the little cup.   They can be found in the produce section, usually by the bagged salads or chilled dressings.  I used all of the grapefruit and 2 tablespoons of the juice for this recipe.

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SOUTHWEST QUINOA SALAD

I love quinoa!  It’s replaced rice in just about all my recipes.  It’s a seed that is fairly high in protein and complex carbs – which does not cause carb cravings in me.  It cooks like rice…can be made savory or sweet, and takes on the flavors you pair with it.

This salad had added high fiber pinto beans and sweet bell peppers for a great lunch.  Add some soy crisps or serve on top of shredded lettuce.

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3 cups cooked Quinoa (see below)

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Juice from 1/2 of a lemon, about 2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup finely diced sweet bell peppers, red and yellow are sweet and colorful

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

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To cook quinoa: Rinse 1 1/4 cups of the grains in a fine-meshed sieve until water runs clear. (Most on the market is very clean already, so a quick rinse is fine.) Bring to boiling 2 1/2 cups of water or chicken broth. Add salt if desired. Pour rinsed grains into boiling water and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 15-18 minutes. All of the water may NOT be absorbed. You can tell that it is done when the white spot in the middle is gone and the little ‘sprouts’ are present and it is fluffy and soft. If there is still water in the pot, scoop out the grains into the sieve and shake until they stop dripping. Use when either warm or cold. (I like to mix it with seasonings when warm…it seems to soak up the flavors better.)

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, garlic, cumin, oregano, chipotle pepper, chili powder, black pepper, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Stir until well combined. Stir in pinto beans, sweet bell peppers, and fresh parsley. Cover and chill for at least two hours. Makes 8 servings.

Per Serving: Calories 203; Protein 8 g; Fat 5 g; Carbs 18; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 395 mg

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