Quinoa Treats
Esgee's Kitchen

Quinoa Treats


Quinoa belongs to the Amaranth family and is originally from South America. Unlike rice or wheat it is complete protein with all the eight essential amino acids. Recognising its wholesome properties, it has become a popular addition to the diet worldwide. It has low glycemic index and is good for diabetic patients. Presence of high potassium and magnesium helps to regulate blood pressure. Quinoa is thus a low calorie, low fat, gluten free, high fibre Super Food. Always cook Quinoa before adding it to a recipe. It cooks much the same way as rice in double the quantity of water. Below are some delightful Quinoa recipes.

1. Quinoa and Bean Salad

A high protein salad for weight watchers

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa [approx 20 minutes]
  • 2 cups cooked beans [red kidney/white beans soaked overnight and pressure cooked 20 minutes]
  • 50 grams cottage cheese/paneer cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mustard paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon pepper powder
  • 2 garlic flakes chopped fine
  • 3 tomatoes chopped
  • ½ cup sliced onions [green preferably]
  • ¼ cup chopped carrots
  • Salt to taste

In a pan sauté paneer/ tofu cubes lightly and sprinkle with salt. Remove from pan.

Combine oil, basil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, mustard, sugar and garlic. Whisk in a large bowl till blended. Stir in the quinoa. Add the cool, cooked beans, tofu, tomatoes, onions and carrots and stir gently. Cover and store refrigerated before serving.

PS. You may like to add some lemon rind also if you want a stronger lemon flavor.

2. Quinoa Upma with vegetables

Upma the popular South Indian dish made with semolina may be made with quinoa too. Add vegetables to it to get a healthy and easy to do meal.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • ½ cup quinoa [cooked in 1 cup salt water]
  • 1 teaspoon butter/ghee
  • A pinch of mustard seeds
  • A pinch of split black gram
  • A pinch of cumin seeds
  • A dash of asafetida/hing
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ cup vegetables of your choice [peas, carrots, capsicum]
  • 1 onion chopped

In a pan heat oil and splutter mustard seeds and cumin. To this quickly add the black gram and fry. Next add the onions and turmeric powder. Stir for 2 minutes. Put in the curry leaves, ginger, chilies and vegetables and sauté for 2 minutes. Add water to cook the vegetables. Cover and cook on medium flame. When vegetables are cooked, remove lid and gently add the quinoa. Put in the ghee/ butter for extra flavor. Mix well and serve hot.

3. Quinoa and Almond Ladoos

This versatile seed may be used to make ladoos too. When you powder 1 cup of quinoa it will yield approximately 1 ½ cups of flour.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes

  • 1½ cups quinoa flour
  • 3 tablespoons ghee/clarified butter
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • ½ cup grated coconut
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup almonds chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • ½ cup milk

Add ghee to a saucepan and heat. Put in the quinoa flour and almond meal and stir on a low flame. Add the coconut, sugar and chopped almonds and continue stirring. Add cardamom powder and milk. Stir till mixture thickens and sugar well melted. It must be dry enough to roll into balls. Remove pan from flame. Cool for a few minutes. Grease palms and spoon the mixture into your hands to make small ladoos. Cool well before storing in air tight container. Deliciously different!