Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dorm Recipe Building Block: Quinoa

Quinoa is on of the best grains you can eat. It has lots of fiber, magnesium, and other things, but what I love about quinoa is that it is a complete protein, which is extremely rare in a plant derived food. The only other vegetarian food that I know that is a complete protein is soy/ tofu. If you know any others I'd love to hear about them, so please comment bellow! It's technically a seed and not a grain, but it acts kind of like a couscous or rice or other small scale grain. I to sleep at some point, so that's all I'm gonna say about the background of quinoa, but if you'd like to know more about the awesomeness of quinoa, go to this website where I did most of my reading, or google it :)

Anyway, now how to make it!
Quinoa is really simple to make and can be made in a microwave, so it's perfect for dorm cooking!
So all you have to do is put two parts water to one part quinoa...

Stick it in the microwave for four minutes, take it out and stir it, then put it back in the microwave for another minute.

If you take it out, there aren't little rings around the quinoa, then you probably need to put it back in for another minute. If there are rings, let the quinoa sit for a few minutes to let the rest of the water absorb.

See the rings around the grains? This quinoa is cooked
Then taste it. If it's nice and soft and not too al dente, the viola, you have quinoa. If it's still a little crunchy, you may have to put it in for another minute and possibly add more water. But that's all there is to it! Now you have a super protein packed grain that can become the foundation of so many meals!

What kind of meals you ask? Well this time I added cilantro and olive oil while I was still cooking the quinoa (as you can probably see in the pictures) and then I had made salsa and forgotten to buy tortilla chips. So I poured the salsa over the quinoa and had a refreshing meal.

My go to quinoa meal is to add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and all kinds of fresh veggies to it to make a quinoa salad. I usually then take a tortilla, slather it in hummus, add the quinoa salad and make myself a nutritious wrap that is soooo delicious I can't even tell you! Even my mom likes it and she doesn't usually like my healthy recipes.
You can even use quinoa as an oatmeal substitute and flavor it with cinnamon and agave/ stevia/ honey/ whatever sweetener you use and eat it for breakfast. There are many other options to flavor quinoa for breackfast like fresh berries, dried cranberries and almonds, or my personal favorite, cocoa powder and peanut butter! It tastes like reses for breakfast, but it's actually pretty healthy! Don't forget to sweeten it though, because cocoa powder is very bitter.
Those are just a few of the things you can do with quinoa. I plan to post a more detailed description of these quinoa meals and others, so subscribe!! And if you like to use quinoa a certain way, I'd love to hear about it! Post in the comments bellow!


  1. I love quinoa! It is so delicious! Living in the dorms one of my go to meals or even snacks has been Fullbar has allowed me to eat healthy without all the bad foods on campus. If I have it as a meal I usually add a fruit salad with it and water. Or if it's as a snack then I just have a fullbar with a glass of water about an hour and half before my lunch or dinner. It's also great to eat on busy days when walking to class. Check them out sometime!!

  2. I don't usually do diet bars because I'm not really trying to loose weight, but if I was these look like they'd be a good option. The ingredients aren't terrible, although I prefer bars without milk or cane sugar. My favorite bars right now are Raw Revolution Chocolate Coconut bars. They're organic, have sprouted flax seed and are sweetened with dates. They're my got to breakfast when I'm running late for class.