It’s easy to get into a routine with our diets and eat the same things all the time. But to ensure our bodies get the nutrients required to function optimally, we need variety.
Quinoa is a perfect food to rotate into your meal plan, as it is a nutritional powerhouse.
Here are three quinoa recipes from our LifeFit Wellness Center staff to diversify and protein-pack your diet this spring.
Base Quinoa Cake
Makes 8 to 10 cakes
Serving size: 1 cake
Total prep time: 35 minutes
1 1/8 cups raw quinoa (any color), cooked and cooled
2 cups liquid (water, low-sodium broth)
2½ tablespoons ground flax mixed with 2½ tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon ground chia mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water
2 tablespoons whole grain flour, such as quinoa, chickpea, gluten-free oat or buckwheat
½ cup baked yam, black beans or lentils, blended
½ cup zucchini, grated
½ cup carrot, beet, parsnip, or yam, grated
¼ cup kale, or Swiss chard, finely diced
½ bell pepper (any color), finely diced
Flavoring ingredients such as garlic (1-2 cloves, minced), shallots (1small, diced) or onions (1/2 cup, diced)
½ tablespoon coconut oil
- If baking patties, preheat oven on to 375° F.
- Grate and chop veggies and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Prepare flavoring ingredients, sautéing as necessary, and add to bowl.
- Add flax, chia and flour and cooked, cooled quinoa to bowl of prepared veggies and flavoring ingredients and mix together gently until well incorporated.
- Make 1/3 cup patties (use a measuring cup as a scoop, or eyeball it). Compress each patty firmly so ingredients hold their shape.
- If frying: Heat a pan over medium heat and melt coconut oil, then add patties. Sear each side of patty for four to five minutes, or until golden brown.
- If baking: Place patties on a baking sheet lightly greased with coconut oil or lined with parchment and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
½ red or green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
Chicken or vegetable broth (2 cups)
Chili powder (1/2 teaspoon), cumin (1-2 teaspoons), sea salt to taste
Frozen peas (1/2 cup) or canned pinto beans (1/2 cup, drained)
Green onions for garnish
- Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and uncooked quinoa. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the quinoa is golden, about 7 to 9 minutes.
- Add can of tomatoes, water or broth, chili powder, cumin and sea salt. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Add frozen peas or pinto beans, remove lid and simmer until any remaining liquid evaporates and peas or beans are heated through.
- Garnish with green onions
Quinoa Greek Parfait
¼ cup quinoa, cooked
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 packet stevia
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
½ banana, sliced
¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup berries of your choice
- Place the cooked quinoa a medium sized bowl and add cinnamon.
- In a saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the almond milk for three to four minutes.
- Stir in vanilla and stevia. Add almond milk to quinoa and mix well.
- Add a couple of spoons of quinoa to a glass jar and layer slivered almonds, banana slices, yogurt, shredded coconut and berries.
- Repeat until the jar is full, ending with berries and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
To learn more about LifeFit Wellness Services at Beaufort Memorial, click here.