Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is often mentioned in a written paragraph or by certain media (including you social media) commentators in a dismissive even disdainful manner.  Utterances along the lines of “Oh those quinoa fanatics” or “That Gwyneth Paltrow craze” , even ” along with those strange/hippy/alternative/healthfreak people that eat things like quinoa and <insert healthy food ingredient of choice here>”.  Ok I am completely paraphrasing here but I have seen and heard this.  It must stop!  🙂

My mission should you choose to accept it,  is to convince you otherwise.

I admit on its own quinoa is a bit dull tasting.  But it works wonderfully with added flavour – from herbs and spices and lemon/lime juice and roasted garlic (lovely..).  A drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil once cooked, some turmeric added to the cooking water, chopped mint and basil..  Anyway I regress..

Health benefits:

  • Complete protein as it contains all eight essential amino acids.
  • Complex carbohydrate (we need more complex and less simple carbs)
  • Full of vitamins and minerals (magnesium & iron)
  • Will help you feel fuller for longer with the protein and fibre benefits

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Quinoa with salad






  • Cold Salad: add lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, herbs such as mint, basil, coriander, chives
  • Warm salad:  use in place of rice or potatoes
  • Vegetarian sweet potato, chickpea and quinoa curry – a revelation!
  • Quinoa flour in baked goods such as muffins and cookies
  • Use in pancakes with quinoa flour
  • For breakfast, use quinoa flakes for porridge or granola
  • I gotta try out some of the recipes here from this New York based blogger who writes solely about quinoa;
    and also

Recipes logo cropped

Leftover chicken dinner with quinoa

Serves 1

quinoa with leftover chicken and garlic ginger






Half mug quinoa


Juice of half a lemon or lime

Clove garlic crushed

Coconut oil

Chilli flakes (optional)

1/2-1 red onion diced (or shallot)

Thumb sized piece of ginger grated (or use 1/2 tsp ground ginger)

Leftover cooked chicken from yesterdays dinner (or lamb or pork) chopped into smaller chunks

Broccoli florets (chopped small to speed up cooking time) – steamed or par-boiled separately

Cherry tomatoes – 3/4 halved


  • Cook quinoa according to packet instructions.  Add turmeric to cooking water towards end of cooking time.
  • Meanwhile gently fry the garlic and onion in a pan in coconut oil.  Grind in the chilli flakes (how much depends on personal taste) and ginger. Cook until softened.
  • Add in the broccoli florets and stir-fry for 2/3 minutes
  • Add in the cherry tomatoes towards end of cooking until they soften a bit.
  • Squeeze lemon or lime juice over the quinoa to flavour
  • Grind some black pepper over the stir-fry to taste and add the mix to the quinoa.
  • Add your leftover meat to the mix.
  • Drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil over the lot.