Posts Tagged ‘quinoa’


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



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)

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

1 cup water

1/2 cup rinsed quinoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

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.

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.

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


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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.




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


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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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!)


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.)




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)


1/4 cup heavy whipping cream + 1 tablespoon Splenda

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


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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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.)





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


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.


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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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.



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


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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It’s not the same old, same old!  The addition of nutty, nutrient-rich quinoa, not only stretches the meat, in a budget-conscience time but spikes the protein grams, as well.   Add that to the zucchini, sweet orange bell pepper, and two kinds of beans ……it equals loads of flavor!

Filling and hearty, it’s very good for you and my family loved it.  Even better as leftovers.  It freezes great – so make lots for these coming cold winter evenings.  A pan of crusty cornbread and your dinner’s done.

If you haven’t tried Quinoa, don’t be afraid of it. I use it just about anywhere I used to use rice. It cooks practically the same way as rice and takes on the flavors of what you put with it. (1 part dry quinoa to 2 parts water and a little salt). I’ve used it sweet or savory, in salads, casseroles, soups, and now chili.

It does contain carbs, but it also has quite a bit of protein for a plant. It’s a complex carb and is good for us in moderation.




1/3 cup quinoa
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Splenda
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 pound ground turkey OR make it vegetarian and add 1 pkg Morningstar Crumbles
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder, or Penzey’s 9000 chili mix (I prefer the mix…it’s more rounded flavor!)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
One 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
On 15 ounce can chicken broth
One 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
One 15 ouce can red beans, drained and rinsed

In a small saucepan bring 2/3 cup water to boil; add quinoa, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and all water is absorbed. (The little ‘tail’ should be showing on each grain.) Set aside.

In a large stockpot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic with Splenda until soft. Stir in zucchini and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add ground turkey and break up into chunks. Cook until no longer pink, but not cooked completely through.

Stir in cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, chili powder/mix, oregano, cocoa powder, chipotle pepper, tomatoes, chicken broth, and beans; simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the quinoa and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Makes 10 servings, about 1 cup each.

Per Serving: Calories 206; Protein 19 g; Fat 7 g; Carbs 13 g; Sugar 1 g; Sodium 281 mg

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Good carbs!  From a seed that also gives you lots of protein.  If you haven’t tried this, DO.  It’s super easy to cook – just like long-grain rice – and can be used anywhere you use that.  FAB.
Vary the veggies and seasoning you put in this salad…add in some diced chicken or even shrimp for a bigger protein hit.

Good carbs!  From a seed that also gives you lots of protein.  If you haven’t tried this, DO.  It’s super easy to cook – just like long-grain rice – and can be used anywhere you use that.  FAB!

Vary the veggies and seasoning you put in this salad…add in some diced chicken or even shrimp for a bigger protein hit.

1 cup grape tomatoes
4 large cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Splenda (or sugar)
1 cup raw quinoa
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup black beans
1 carrot, shredded
1 tablespoon diced green chiles
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons Penzey’s Chili 9000 mix
Zest and juice from one lime
2 tablespoons sliced green onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tomatoes in half and place them in a pie plate. Add whole cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. (It will seems like too much oil, but that’s fine. You need it for the dressing and the garlic will infuse it.) Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and mach the garlic into a paste and stir into tomatoes.

In a medium saucepan place rinsed quinoa and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. (If quinoa is tender and the ‘tail’ is present and there is still liquid, drain it in a fine sieve.) Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl combine the quinoa, tomato-garlic mixture, black beans, carrot, green chiles, cumin, oregano, cilantro, salt, black pepper, chili mix, lime zest and juice, and green onions. Mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to chill for at least two hours. Makes 10 servings.

Per Serving: 136 Cal; 5 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 17 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 283 mg Sodium

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