The Super Grain: Quinoa

Well technically it’s not a grain at all, Quinoa is a seed!  Quinoa has made it’s name known over the last few years for being a super food.  Do you know what all the hype is about?


Here are some facts:

  • Quinoa was first discovered in South America
  • It is a complete protein, unlike other grains that are missing certain amino acids.
  • It is a very good source of manganese and a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.  Magnesium has been show to help with migraines and cardiovascular health.
  • Quinoa is a whole grain which provides a myriad of benefits.
  • Provides antioxidants and phytonutrients to help reduce the risk of disease.
  • The Nutrition Profile is as follows 1/4 cup uncooked: 170 calories, 2.5 grams fat (0 g saturated), 30 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, and 6 grams protein.

Cooking Recommendations: To prevent a bland end product (most common complaint I hear!)

  • Always rinse in a fine mesh sieve before cooking, this will remove any bitterness.  Do not skip this step!
  • If you will be serving it as a simple side dish, cook in chicken or vegetable broth for added flavor.
  • First sauté garlic and onions, then add the quinoa and broth to all cook together.
  • It tastes delicious tossed with salad dressing (if you do this you don’t need to cook it in broth).
  • Add it to soups and stews instead of rice or pasta.

Dressed Quinoa: Serves 4


  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 TB sherry vinegar
  • 2 TB plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sautee 1/2 sweet onion and 2 garlic cloves in 1 tsp olive oil.  Add in 1 cup rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes (grains should start to become slightly transluscent).
  2. Combine sherry vinegar, olive oil, honey, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Toss cooked quinoa with salad dressing.

Nutrition Information per serving: 262 calories, 10 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 37 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, and 6 grams protein


2 Responses

  1. […] Quinoa is one of the only permissible grains, since it’s actually a seed.  Quinoa is a great source of fiber, so don’t skip it this Passover!  Read my old post about why quinoa is so great here. […]

  2. I agree that you need to wash quinoa thoroughly. The bitter taste that it removed is the saponin that is the soapy residue on the exterior of the seed. Saponin is an anti-nutrient that increases intestinal permeability. I wrote about it here…

    Although most saponin is removed in commercial quinoa, it should still be washed until you get clear running water.

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