Quinoa is another one of those versatile ingredients that you can make into almost anything you wish! It is very nutritious and have many health benefits. It’s packed with protein, fiber and lots of minerals. So I try to incorporate it in my weekly meal plan. Every week different style.
Mediterranean style quinoa
My first encounter with quinoa was about 10 years ago, when I was still living in a small, hippie town in northern Israel. I was working from home back then, so used to go out and meet with my neighbors every so often. One day my neighbor invited me for lunch. The smell from her kitchen reminded me so much of home. Sauteed onions and garlic… When I looked into the pot I could not recognize what was cooking. That’s when I learned about the quinoa for the first time. I can still remember the sweet-savory-home like taste of it. I fell in love right away. With the addition of some shredded carrots and Mediterranean spices. Mmmm it was so good!
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the quinoa in tap water for at least 20 minutes, then rinse and drain
- Saute the onions in a bit of olive oil until the are golden brown
- Add the shredded carrots and saute for one more minute
- Add the mince garlic and spices and saute for one more minute
- Add the quinoa and 2 cups of boiling water
- Simmer, covered on low-medium heat for about 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed
- Serve hot, with a chopped Israeli salad on the side 🙂
Asian style quinoa salad
Last winter I was invited to a family potluck, and I wanted to impress with a vegan dish, but didn’t have much time to prepare, so I came up with this Asian style quinoa salad, so colorful and packed with protein, that everyone just loved! Few people even asked for the recipe!
My inspiration for this salad is based on the recipe from one of my favorite blogs Minimalist Baker.
What you’ll need:
For the quinoa
1 tsp sesame oil (toasted or untoasted)
1/3 cup dry white quinoa (well rinsed and drained)
2/3 cup water
1 cup frozen edamame
1 cup frozen or fresh corn
1/2 medium red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
1 1/2 cups shredded/very thinly sliced purple cabbage (or sub green cabbage or kale)
1 cup shredded kale or chopped cilantro (optional)
For the dressing:
1 Tbsp almond, peanut, or cashew butter
2 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (plus more to taste)
3 Tbsp maple syrup (plus more to taste)
3 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten free // or coconut aminos // plus more to taste)
3 Tbsp lime juice
2 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil (toasted or untoasted)
2 TBSP chopped cashew or sunflower seeds
1 tsp fresh minced ginger (optional)
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add sesame oil and rinsed quinoa. Toast quinoa, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, then add water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 18-20 minutes (or until liquid is absorbed). Once cooked, fluff with a fork and set off of the heat.
Next prepare dressing by adding all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, chili garlic sauce for heat, tamari for saltiness, or lime juice for acidity. Set aside.
Add quinoa, sliced red pepper, and cabbage to the steamed corn and edamame and top with dressing. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Best when fresh but will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 2-3 days.
And now for the surprise! Crepes!
This has been one of my favorite dinners since I discovered it. I found it on my favorite (Israeli) vegan blog. Adi Shapira is a nturopath and the most creative recipe creator. I’m always amazed how attractive she can make her food look. Check her out on Instagram.
The amount indicated below is for 8-10 crepes / tortillas
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup white quinoa (dry)
- 1 cup green (un-roasted) buckwheat (dry)
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
- 2-4 cups of water (explanation below)
- Maple syrup (optional for a sweet option)
- A really good non-stick pan
- Soak the buckwheat and quinoa over night or for at least 8 hours
- Drain and rinse well
- Put all ingredients in a strong blender with 2 cups of water
- Let it blend and add little bit of water at a time
- The batter needs to be thinner than pancakes, more like a crepe
- Blend well and let stand for 5 minutes
- Blend again
- Directly from the blender or pour into a bowl, take about half a ladle full and pour into the pan, making a thin circle
- Let it cook over low-medium heat, and just be patient
- One side is ready when you see the edges are starting to dry up
- Gently flip to the other side and wait a minute or two until ready
*You can serve it savory with some guacamole and fresh herbs and veggies or sweet with maple, honey, nut butter and fruits
*You can replace the buckwheat with pearl barley