12 Surprising Facts About Quinoa
+ Warm Salad of Roast Cauliflower & Quinoa

cooked quinoa

I’m always a little suspicious of anything that gets touted as a ‘superfood’. Which is why it took me a while to get around to trying quinoa.

My first encounter was with puffed quinoa as part of an exploration of new breakfast cereals. Not very inspiring unless you come from the school of thought that cereal should resemble Styrofoam and be useful.

But with my Dad’s gluten intolerance I decided to give the whole grains another chance.

And I’m glad I did.

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is a small, grain-like seed originally from South America. It has a mild nutty, grainy flavour and when cooked properly has a lovely chewy texture similar to cooked barley.

It’s higher in protein than most grains. And a good source of fiber. It’s low GI, so a better choice than many grains. However, I personally only have it on very special occasions because I find it’s not great for my blood sugar.

12 Surprising Facts About Quinoa

1. It’s delicious
No matter how ‘good for you’ a food is, I don’t include it in my diet unless it passes the taste test. Puffed quinoa won’t be starring on stonesoup anytime soon but the whole grains definitely make it. Slightly nutty and grainy, they’re something I could keep eating and eating.

2. It has a funny pronunciation
I always feel a tiny bit pretentious when I correct people but apparently it likes to be referred to as ‘keen-wah’.

3. It’s high in protein
A big positive for vegetarians as I’ve learned recently. It’s also pretty good on iron and fibre, which gets the nutritionists excited.

4. It’s gluten free
With my Dad being gluten intolerant, I’m always appreciative of new options to cook for him. He’s pretty keen on the rolled quinoa flakes for breakfast as well.

5. It needs washing before use
I read somewhere that the surface of quinoa contains a chemical called saponin that has a bitter soapy taste. Most commercial quinoa will already be washed and have the saponin removed but it’s a good idea to rinse it just before you use it in case there are residues.

6. It comes in different colours
Just like grapes, quinoa comes in different varieties. The most common is white, but there are also red and black. I’ve only ever come across the white variety.

7. It comes in different forms
Just like corn, it can be puffed or rolled into flakes or you can buy it whole.

8. It looks like a grain but is actually a seed

9. It has an interesting texture
The thing I love about quinoa is it’s texture. Something a little like barley with its chewiness, it also has a light fluffiness akin to well prepared couscous.

10. It’s better if you cook it
One of my first experiment with quinoa I just rinsed it in boiling water, tossed it in dressing and used it in a salad. It was edible but a little weird.

11. You can also eat the leaves
I’m yet to find a source of fresh quinoa or it’s leaves but if you do apparently the leaves are edible. Something like chard or silverbeet.

12. It’s becoming more readily available
In Australia it’s even available in the ‘health food’ section of our supermarkets. Am sure any health food store worth its lentils would either already stock quinoa or be able to source it for you.

roast cauliflower & quinoa salad

Warm Salad of Roast Cauliflower & Quinoa

Inspired by Cath Claringbold in the Good Weekend.

You could use all sorts of soft cheese in this recipe. Ricotta or goats curd would be lovely but I had some bocconcini that needed eating up and I really enjoyed it’s slightly chewy texture to contrast the cauliflower & quinoa.

Wonderfully satisfying as a main course salad on its own, it would also work well without the cheese as a side dish to fish or roast chicken.

serves: 2
takes: 30 minutes

1/2 large cauliflower (approx 350g / 12oz)
1/2 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped
large handful bocconcini, torn into bight size pieces

1. Preheat your oven to 200C. Cut cauliflower into bite size ‘trees’. Place in a roasting dish, drizzle with some olive oil, season and roast, stirring occasionally until the cauliflower is golden on the edges and cooked through.

2. Rinse quinoa well and place in a medium saucepan with 1 cup water and the tomato paste. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed. Season.

3. Divide cauliflower between two warm plates, scatter over quinoa, cheese and chives.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


no quinoa? – substitute in your favourite cooked grain such as couscous, barley or brown rice. You’ll need to adjust the amount of water and cooking times though.

no tomato paste – skip it and replace the water with vegetable or chicken stock.

dairy-free / vegan – replace cheese with roast almonds, pine nuts or brazil nuts.

herby – toss in some flat leaf parsley or basil leaves.

Warm Salad of Roast Cauliflower & Quinoa

More Quinoa Recipes

More on Quinoa

With love,
Jules x

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


  • I haven’t gone down the quinoa aisle yet… but you’ve (re) convinced me on lentils, so I shall hunt some down. My other half is away at the moment, so it’s the perfect time to experiment! Plus, anything that roasts cauliflower is on its way to a winner anyway.

  • I enjoy cooking often with this very tasty and yet incredibly nutrional grain. The red variety is my favourite. I have yet to post a recipe with it though. As soon as I do…I will certainly mention your blog so that they can come read your 12 great things people should find out about this grain.
    Thanks for sharing this interesting info and recipe.
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

  • You make me want to try to hunt down quinoa in China! Gosh, it was hard enough hunting down CHICKPEAS! (Yes, chickpeas.) I’m trying to hunt down lentils, too. :(


  • Oh, I love quinoa. I’m an gluten intolerant myself and is glad that there is at least one ‘grain’ I can eat, since it’s always cous-cous this and bulgur that. Love your blog by the way!

  • This sounds great! I love quinoa cold or room temperature in a summer salad tossed with roughly chopped arugula, cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I also recently heard it’s pronounced keen-wah, but I have a hard time switching from keen-o-a…

  • Quinoa is special because it’s a complete source of protein, not like a lot of vegetarian proteins that require combinations of foods for completion.

    That’s news to me about the green leaves. I’d love to try it but from what I’ve seen, all the quinoa in Australia comes from South America, so I don’t like my chances.

    I’ve been using quinoa more and more in my cooking. This dish looks like another to add to my list, thank you.

  • Sounds and looks great! The market near me carries quinoa in their bulk bins and I’ve tried it, but didn’t have any really good recipes for it before. Question: What kind of cheese is bocconcini? I’ve never heard of it. Wondering what might be a good substitute?

  • hi, thanks for this post. Cooking with quinoa certainly is a curious thing, and after some experimentation I’ve settled upon rinsing, followed by slightly dry-toasting in the saucepan before adding more water to cook. Also, white quinoa seems to particularly like spices such as tumeric, fresh ginger and garlic, whole brown mustard seeds and panch phora thrown in while cooking… and carrots roasted with sumac and lemon juice :>

    In contrast, I have yet to find a more-than-palatable idea for red quinoa (it’s a bit weird plain, and with berries etc, and used as the white variety), so I’d be fascinated to hear your thoughts on it!

  • I bought a bag from a natural food store and got hooked. I mainly use it as a base for veggie stir fries, and it’s been a big hit with the rest of the family. The protein benefits are also a big plus for me.

  • What a coincidence – just made up some quinoa last night. Nothing fancy just cooked with chicken broth and added some toasted almonds and served it up as a side dish.

    I usually just cook it with water as a base for lunch salads. Just use any combination of veggies and dressing that you’d use for your fav couscous salad. I find that salads with quinoa (higher protien more interesting flavour/texture) are better for lunches than couscous salads so I don’t even bother buying couscous anymore.

    Be sure to check the label though – even though quinoa is gluten-free some are made in facilities where they also process wheat products.

  • My husband is not a big fan of quinoa and I love it. He’s away for 4 days and I’m planning on eating lots of quinoa this week. I buy the red and black variety at Woolworths. I found the black goes well with some grated cheese added.

  • I used to start work at 8.00 am every day, and I found, having eaten breakfast before 7.00 am, that I would get so hungry at work pretty early. I went through all sorts of toasts and cereals, but quinoa seemed to work well for me. I used to cook some before bed and then eat it drizzled with maple syrup and some milk or cream in the morning. It would help keep me feeling fuller for longer (probably because it’s high in protein). So I can vouch for the whole grain making a very satisfying breakfast. The flakes I find quite chalky and bitter? I really like the grains prepared with lemon, but I haven’t bought any for ages. Must give this salad a try!

  • I am a fan of quinoa, largely because I don’t eat wheat, so it’s a great alternative grain for me (though as you say, it is actually a seed not a grain).

    I have tried all the types of quinoa but I like the white the best. I had assumed that red or black quinoa is better for you, but I did some research and I think they are all the same.

    I eat quinoa as an alternative to couscous, in salads and as a porridge for a warming winter brekky, with plenty of natural yoghurt, fruit and honey. Yum! A couple of recipes for quinoa are on my blog…

  • My whole family loves quinoa. I usually make a pilaf as a side dish – onions, garlic in a little olive oil, add quinoa to toast, pour in chicken stock. I’ve used it for salads, too.

    We usually get white. Tried the red and wasn’t crazy about it.

    My niece has celiac and loves guinoa pasta. We can get it in the grocery store health food section.

  • Love quinoa – having it for lunch today actually! So easy to cook up the night before and mix with roast veg/salad ingredients for a work lunch. As my husband is gluten intolerant, I use quinoa in recipes such as tabbouleh or where bulgur/cous cous is required (and sometimes barley too). Great to use in a quick vege pilaf at night when you can’t be bothered cooking much. Hulled millet works in the same vein too and is just as easy to cook (doesn’t need pre rinsing). Both white and red quinoa is readily available now at Woolworths under the Macro label although it is expensive – I find white quinoa cheaper at my local organics store in the bulk bin sections.
    Seed is easy to source in Australia if you’ve got the space and want to grow it yourself in order to try the leaves.

  • Cauliflower. I love this stuff. The photo is making my stomach rumble and it is still 1 hour until lunchtime here at work.

    Quinoa greens are actually VERY VERY easy to grow – I tossed some of the seeds into the vege patch ‘just to see’ when I was still living in Sydney and again when I moved over here. I live in Norway , near the ocean,where it is not too cold and was able to pick off the leaves to eat very soon. The plants sprouted within a week!!! Birds were a problem though – they liked the seeds ALOT!!! The plants produced alot of beautiful flowers and then alot of seeds – and look a bit tall and straggly though so next time I will put them in pots and start them off indoors and then train them as I would tomato plants. I would recommend using alot of leaves in one go to stop the plant from getting so tall annd out of hand and not be so gentle with the plant – it really takes off, even if you go on holiday and forget to get someone to water it. The leaves are great in salad or for brekkie with black pepper and a nicely poached egg. YUm. Still hungry – must get off this page with the photo of a plate of food.

  • What a timely post!

    I got into the swing of summer by preparing a cold quinoa salad for dinner last night. I mixed in plenty of fresh veggies, diced leftover chicken and made a great mustard vinaigrette. Yum!

  • thanks for the comments everyone

    will keep the cold salad idea on hold for december down here – thanks jennifer

    mark – think of it like rhubarb that’s really a vegetable but we use it like a fruit – the important thing is that it’s delicious and good for you

    alex – love that you’ve grown your own – who would have thought – definitely on the list for when I get my own veggie garden happening – can’t wait to try the leaves

    will keep an eye out for quinoa pasta dee – thanks

    I’ve been shopping at woolies in cooma and they haven’t expanded to the red and black but will keep an eye out. love that you’re making the most of your husband being away!

    good point about checking the label re potential for gluten contamination

    caroline – like the dry roasting idea thanks. haven’t had any experience with red quinoa myself. although if it doesn’t taste great on it’s own maybe it needs strong flavours to contrast / mask

    thanks claudia – look forward to reading your quinoa post

  • Quinoa also makes for a nice porridge or pudding (similar to rice pudding, but much healthier).

    Heather: The complete protein thing is actually a myth that was proven wrong decades ago.

  • I adore quinoa. I was a vegetarian many years ago and that is when I started using it. I didn’t know to rinse it in those days. It tasted awful. Since I found out you should soak it, it is so much more wonderful. I try and cook it every other week instead of rice. I have found a company that makes a mixture of quinoa and that I can find at my MIL’s supermarket. It is like Rice a Roni but healthy.

    I also used to bake a bread that had some cooked quinoa in it. I have tom search out that recipe.

    Thanks for the great article and interesting recipe.

  • Thanks for this post… I recently bought quinoa and have been trying to learn more about it before I experiment!

  • I know this has nothing to do with quinoa – but it is confirmed! I am going to Barcelona tomorrow. I lov emy job :-) I can’t wait to start eating jamon – I have just reread your other Barcelona posts for further insipration. I can’t wait. Last time I was in Spain I took my rolley-bag suitcase with me to the Jamoneria and the butcher and I tried out as many legs of jamon iberico as we could unti we found one that fit into my bag (on a diagonal).

    I am staying right near the Boqueria market and intend to eat as much as posible. Chorizo, tomato and sardines are some of my favorite foods. Packing the runners and togs so I can fit in as many delectable treats as possible. I am so excited. Jules, while you were in Barcelona, did you find any places that vacuum pack jamon so I can it back with me (obviously not back to Australia)??? My husnabd refuses ti let me take a whole leg back this time. He got a fright when he opened my bag and found a leg last time.

  • Thanks for all the info on quinoa! I’ve only cooked with it a few times, but am always on the lookout for new recipes!

  • I am into my recent exploration to quinoa too :) ….I usually combine them with millet (another seed?) and cook them in a congee. Seen red quinoa recently too….trying soon. Thanks for sharing all you know abt quinoa. Love it!

  • Thanks! Just bought the ebook – it is definitely very useful. I tend to plan trips around meals as well and given I know I only have 7 days in Barcelona was starting to stress I could not fit everything in. This gives me a chance to stay focussed when things get a little out of hand….and I can show the husband that icecream for dinner is a reality for other people as well :-)

    Thanks for the advice on the jamonismo shop – I just looked them up online and see that it is possible to arrange tastings. I think I will have a very very full week ahead of me.

  • I was introduced to quinoa in South America where it’s a staple. I had it in both soups and on its own like a cous cous but the Andean ability to cook was a bit lacking and your recipe looks much more delicious than the things we ate!

  • I bought Red Quinoa from Woolworths last week – in the new ‘macro organics’ section :)

    I’ve yet to try it, and was actually searching for white quinoa! I’m also yet to try cooking with it, bought it on a bit of a whim after reading about all the benefits! Best looking recipe I have found for red quinoa so far is red quinoa and black beans over at epicurious… I’ll let you know how my experiments with it go!!

  • Does anyone know what happens to quinoa when it is cooked or toasted on high temperature? Does it lose some of its nutrition or not?

  • You should seek out the red and black varieties as they are far more flavorful and, I hear, more nutritious. Cooking quinoa does make it more palatable but also reduces it nutritive value. So cook as little as possible!

  • Argh! I’ve been pronouncing it kwanoah. I keep trying to think of it as keenwah but it’s not working. I’ve been using it instead of rice in my creamed rice recipe. Took a little while to get used to but before long I was downing bowls of the stuff.

  • I have been throwing a small handfull of the whole white variety into my porridge before I microwave it in the morning. Love the nutty flavour it adds. It retains most of its crunch, just softening slightly. I have found that I have felt more full for longer. I think this recipe might have inspired me to use it in a savoury context. Can’t wait!

  • I was curious does anyone have a good way to wash quinoa? The biggest reason I haven’t used it since the first time I cooked with it, was it just is impossible to rinse. I put it in the strainer (like you use for straining pulp out of OJ….so quite small), but even still quinoa are so tiny they would fall through.

    I’d love to try this recipe!

  • hey thanks for the posts and the lovely pictures that you kindly added along with your recipes. The facts about the Quinoa are very interesting and its good to see something as nice as what you have written about…..i really liked it. And being gluten intolerant myself i am trying to incorporate it into my diet, as i did try it once and Loved it. So thank you for the post that you have created.

  • I make a morning porridge with white or red quionoa. I cook a batch of quinoa on Sunday and then every morning take about 1 cup of quinoa, 1 cup of thawed mixed berries, warm that up together in the micro for a minute and then add a few dashes of rice milk. Makes a great porridge that really carries me through until lunch time. And if anyone has problems with regularity – eat quiona! It really helps regulate your digestion. At least that is what I’ve found.

  • Heard a lot about Quinoa puffs, so thought I would try them, just bought Naturefirst Quinoa puffs from Woolies and to be honest have no idea on how to cook them or even if I have too..
    Could anyone help me ?

  • Hi Suzanne
    I haven’t eaten quinoa puffs but they are cooked – kinda liked rice bubbles or puffed wheat. So you can eat them as is. Not sure what else you’d do with them – you could try in a savoury salad – might be nice if they soak up the dressing.

  • I have not bought quinoa as yet, just thinking about it and decided to learn more about it. After reading the posts I can’t wait to buy some and try it. If the seeds are so small they slip through a strainer – perhaps using those coffee thingo’s that fit in the pots when making coffee…or use a Muslin cloth! now I’m just going to have to try it out myself to find out huh?

  • oh yay beryl!
    so glad I’ve convinced you.
    and love that you’re already brainstroming solutions to the tiny seeds
    enjoy! enjoy!

  • Love your site and the 12 things to know about Quinoa. Just a note and I am new to the grain and have been just reading up on it, it is better cooked I agree. But it is best germinated and eaten in cold foods like salads. The nutrition goes through the roof and it only takes about 2 to 4 hours to do so in a pure glass of water. I just thought I would share. Love your Stonesoup! Keep up the great work!!!

  • Hi, I am gluten intolerant also, so am keen to try quinoa. Salicylates also cause me lots of problems, so does anyone know the salicylate content of quinoa. Regards Margaret

  • Funny, I bought some here in Netherlands, but got stuck with Dutch cooking instructions….so it still sits there. Thanks for reminding me it is behind the various lentils, black beans, oats, et al in my cupboard. Will have to give this one a try. If you can recommend and others….much appreciated. Cheers!

  • We love Quinoa. We boil it in organic chicken or beef broth. Gives it even more flavor for our curry dishes that we make instead of using rice. We literally eat it many times a week.

  • Hi there, I have just had my first experience trying to cook Quinoa. I bought the puffed variety and put it in my rice cooker. 1 cup Quinoa, 2 cups rice.
    Oh dear, it looks like wallpaper paste and tastes about the same. Please help, i am a novice and in need of advice about the puffed variety.
    thanks Sue Sanders.

  • hi sue!
    My first tip is to give up on puffed quinoa – you can use the rest for packing like you would use styrofoam.

    look for unpuffed quinoa and try cooking it as per the recipe above – it’s a whole different beast and nothing wallpapery at all.

  • Marie
    The nutritional profile is mostly carbohydrate and lots of protein so similar to lentils. So I think of it as starchy. Yes

  • Red & Black quinoa can be bought in bulk at the Adelaide Central Market from the Goods and Grains Stall.

  • I recently brought a packet of puffed quinoa and put 2 desert spoons in a micowave dish together with equal amount of desicated rolled oats and add milk to soak overnight. Microwaved for 4/5 minutes, served with honey and skim milk. I enjoyed it very much and have this every other morning!

  • rita
    No I don’t think you need to rinse quinoa flakes because they would have been processed to turn them into flakes. In terms of cooking time I’m afraid I can’t help.. but imagine they would be quicker than whole quinoa.

  • I had quinoa for breakfast. One part grain to 3 parts water, simmer for 15 minutes, I throw in a bunch of frozen blueberries. It a nice change from oats.

  • Hi Jules,

    I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian and never had Quinoa before and after reading the comments, I would love to try this. Can I purchase it in Publix stores?

  • If anyone is curious to try quinoa leaf as a salad vegetable, keep an eye out for quinoa’s close relative White Goosefoot which grows as a weed in high nitrogen soils. I spotted some in someone’s vege garden near my home in Melbourne the other day. Or maybe they were growing quinoa itself?

    Info about white goosefoot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenopodium_album

    Also for those who live near a Thomas Dux (Sydney and Melbourne), the stores stock the Macro brand Red, White, and Black quinoas in 500g packets. (I work at Thomas Dux). There is usually a good read-made quinoa salad in the deli too.

  • donna
    I’m afraid I don’t knoe publix stores… I’m in Australia… but any decent health food store should be able to help you out

  • Help! Goitrogenic foods like soy (no matter how it is fixed), cruciferous vegetables (the cabbage family — kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, etc.), peanuts, cherries, peaches, strawberries, etc., are not good, in fact bad, for people like me with hypothyroidism. We take medicine every day to get our thyroids working normally, and goitrogenic foods interfere with iodine uptake by the thyroid. Quinoa is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, but is quinoa goitrogenic?

  • Carla

    Sorry but I’m not aware of the goitrogenic status of quinoa.. although I thought it was classed as a grass not a vegetable.. but I could be wrong..

    All the best with your search!

  • I discovered quinoa after a recent trip to South America, and I can’t get enough of it! Sharing with you a fantastic site for quinoa recipes http://www.comocomecami.com/ . You’ll find other healthy dishes too (and great photos)!

  • Having just heard of Quinoa and read your web page am pretty excited to receive help and would love to receive books , recipes etc..have pretty big health issues and am sure quinoa ++++will probably help me. Jules Clancy can you help me? Thank you>>Charlie

  • Hi. I’m a botanist so I thought I’d clarify a few mistakes in the post and comments…

    Carla – While not sure about specifics of if quinoa will hurt your thyroid, your classification of some plants is not correct. Kale, brussell sprouts, cabbage, broccoli… are all in the Brasicaceae family and as such, are what you call cruciferous. Spinach, beets and quinoa are in the Chenopodiaceae family however and so are not closely related to spinach. As such, I doubt that they have the same issues for you that the broccoli’s might have. Also, I come from a very long line of thyroid sufferers, all on thyroid meds – and I’d never heard about avoiding certain foods for this reason. I’m sure that you’re right, but it is new to me…

    Jules, your #8 fact that “it looks like a grain but is actually a seed” is almost right… Grains ARE seeds! But, grains are a specific seed type that are only found in the grass family (Poaceae) and have a specific structure that is unique to the grasses. As previously stated, quinoa is in the beet family, which is very far away genetically from grasses.

    Quinoa originates in the Andes of South America but is now being grown in the US in the northern states like Montana. Other plants that you might know from the same family are amaranth, which has a long historical use as a pseudo-grain.

    We LOVE quinoa and here in the US it is readily found at Costco for $2/pound organic! Even our local little grocery has it, but for a higher price. Whole Foods also has the 3 different colors of quinoa and they are tasty…

    Even my 3 year old daughter loves the stuff and we rarely use rice anymore as we much prefer the quinoa. It’s got lots of fiber and cooks much faster than brown rice. Though, I should caution to NOT use this in a rice cooker. Quinoa has a spiral shaped part to the seed that separates upon cooking and will clog up your fancy rice cooker. Just saying…

  • I made this yesterday. I used red quinoa, rinsed well, and prepared it with chicken broth instead of water. To tell you the truth, I’m about to give up on quinoa, it tasted awful, texture was good though. I may try one more time using plain water.

  • just starting to use quinoa a bit more… interesting facts – thank you everyone for your input!
    Am interested to try red and black as well – I’m in Adelaide and shop online via bananablue.com.au and have noticed they have a few different types including the black and also cereals…. might try. Also, my lovely online greengrocer has 1kg quinoa for $10.95/kg, organic from Tassie! Not bad, esp buying Australian.
    Also, I love that spiral part of the seed that seems to separate when cooked – looks cute!!
    Finally, does anyone have instructions on how to cook in the microwave?

  • Hi Jules
    Love your site!
    Just thought I’d share something I learned recently regarding quinoa, which is that you can cook it in your rice cooker, exactly like rice!

    Much easier than doing it on the stove or microwave I think – just use the same proportions of quinoa/water (or stock) as you would making rice, press the button and forget it! Perfect results every time.

    Thanks for the great site and inspiring recipes!


  • I just tried Quinoa for the first time and I love it! I put a 1/4 cup of puffed quinoa in 1 fat free plain yogurt – YUM! Delicious and VERY filling. Maybe next time I’ll add just a tablespoon or so to my yog. I’m pretty sure you would NOT want to cook the puffed, nor the rolled variety. I would use those like breakfast cereal. Can’t wait to try the plain quinoa cooked like rice. I need to thank my niece, who just got her degree in nutrition, for introducing me to this great food!

  • Hello,
    I recently moved to Kuwait and am looking to find Quinoa. Do you know if they would call it by any other name in this part of the world? Quinoa, when I ask for it, seems to be confusing to them. Any input would be fantastic.

    Thank you

  • Hi Jules: I love your whole blog and all the wonderful recipes. I also loved finding out all about qinoa ( I hope I spelled it right!) I had read its ‘not a grain’ but could not figure out what it might possible be! Thanks for clarifying.

  • Charlynn
    Sorry, the only name I know it by is Quinoa.

    Thanks for taking the time to say hello! Really glad you’re enjoying Stonesoup

  • Hi everyone :)

    One of my daughters is gluten intolerant and I am always looking for different things for her to try. I found Quinoa at Costco. Thank you for all your tips and recipes :)

  • I love Quinoa. First heard about it on the tv show and website Good Chef Bad Chef. You can get it in Coles, Woolworths and IGA. Macro whole foods has it in their range, I prefer the black variety as its nuttier, but I made up a mixed blend that also has millet which looks great for salads and dinner parties. I always cook it in the rice cooker. And love making a pink salad with cubed beetrooot, coleslaw dressing and finely diced chives. its nice on sandwiches as well. Love the site.

  • I love your post about quinoa (This has go to be one of the most informative and interesting post I have read.) The quinoa in your picture looks like chilli seeds! I am so tempted to try the recipe although I might skip out on the chives (can never get myself past the taste!) Besides being great for those with gluten intolerance, quinoa is also a great source of manganese and magnesium that can helps to relieve migraine! What’s there not to love about it!

  • Was briefly watching yet another cooking show which discussed the health benefits of Quinoa so decided to give it a go. Picked up a packet from woolworths but had no idea how to cook it so I just winged it. Hubby loved it (hubby usually turns up his nose at anything new!).
    I basically cooked it like risotto. I sauted an onion, mushroom, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, bacon in some olive oil then tossed in some quinoa. Stirred it til coated fully in oil then added chicken stock a little at a time until cooked through.
    I’m going to try it in soups.
    Glad to hear it can be cooked in the rice cooker.

  • Hi there,
    I have been mixing the Quinoa with berries, basil, honey, spinach and yoghurt as a breakfast food and it is delicious!
    :) Robi

  • Gr8 intro to quinoa. I need to have a low GI diet. Can you use quinoa flour for making breadf.



  • Thanks David
    Quinoa, while high in protein doesn’t have the gluten needed for good bread making… so it’s not going to have the same texture as wheat based breads.

  • Love Quinoa,cook itand then use it for so many recipes. i love it mixed with Kefir Quark….mmm and a little fruit or maybe maple syrup & some not spinkle,such a guilt free desert!! I grind it in my coffee grinder and add 1/4 cup to my G.F Bread along with the other combination of flours.Adds to the flavour and the nutrition.
    Thanks for your recipes etc

  • Have been into Quinoa since a South American Trip a few years ago. One of my favourite ways of using it is in a Tabouli or a Fatoosh instead of some or all of the Bhulgar (cracked Wheat). Adds extra nuttiness and great texture to it.

  • Deeks bakery in Canberra used Quinoa in their grain free breads (from memory) and I think they have some limited shipping.

  • I don’t think that anyone has mentioned it, but the best way to cook Quinoa that I’ve tried is to rinse it, boil it for ten minutes, then rinse it again, and finally to steam it for about 5 minutes, or until it has dried out a bit and is nice and fluffy, but still ‘al dente’.

    Works a charm and it’s bloody easy. Every time I’ve tried the absorption method my quinoa has ended up as a gluggy mess, even in my rice cooker, but this worked perfectly.

    Love the blog Jules, have been reading it for a while, first time commenting though.

  • Another thing about quinoa that I love: It cooks really quickly! One of my favourite meals after a long day at school is just a bowl of warm cooked quinoa mixed with edamame beans and dressed with miso/mirin/dash of chilli sauce. Comfort food

  • I’ve been grain free for several months. Quinoa is a staple for me. I use it like oats for breakfast, rice for other meals, and as a flour in baked goods, and even for pasta. A google search will net you recipes for all of these things. Quinoa flour is often used in combination with other “flours” in baked good recipes.

  • Grant:

    There is nothing in that article indicating that the leaves are poisonous as of 12/18/11. It is true that eating the leaves in excess can be toxic, but you would have to eat an awful lot to get to that point. Remember that anyone on earth can edit a Wikipedia article, and it is a good starting point, but if you are serious about researching a subject, you need to look further :)

  • My partner bought me the book ‘You are what you eat ‘ by Dr Gillian Mc Keith and she talks about quinoa. She talks about it being a vegetable protein that is very easy to digest and is one of the best kidney/bladder foods. It contains all the essential amino acids and has a far lower content than most meat. I am excited about trying it.

  • I love your Stone Soup. Here’s another healthy meal: Quinoa with Porcini.
    Ingredients: A handful (20g) of sliced dried porcini, 1 stick of celery, small onion
    and carrot, 2 cloves garlic, 2tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup well washed quinoa,
    1 chopped ripe tomatoe, a handful of chopped parsley and grated parmesan.
    Thoroughly rinse quinoa in strainer. Soak(5min) porcini in 1 cup of cold water ; before
    using, drain and squeeze. Finely chop the celery, garlic, onion and carrot.
    Heat olive oil in a saucepan and fry the vegetables for 2 min (or until soft).
    Add washed quinoa and tomatoe and cover with water ( or mix water and chicken stock). Simmer for 15-20min, season, add parsley. Serve with grated parmesan.
    A Happy New Year!

  • I have just bought my first packet of Quinoa and am looking forward to trying it. I like the sound of your recipe with cauliflower so will try it – just one little comment though you spelt ‘bite’ wrong!!!!!!

  • I have never tried quinoa before. While in QLD, we bought from a health food shop some quinoa which looks like wheat germ or rolled oatmeal like small flakes. Do I still need to rinse it? I was planning to just cook it with rice. Since it is flaked, can it be eaten as is?

  • nauree
    good question… if it’s flaked it means it’s been cooked and rolled so I probably wouldn’t bother to wash it first.

  • No offense Shelley, but if you’re going to try and correct someone on their grammar, at least spell “spelled” correctly! :D

    Regardless, amazing post Jules! I’ll have to give this a go the next time I make quinoa.

    • Sorry Patrick but broaden your horizons…. spelt, dreamt, learnt are all UK English versions of spelled, dreamed, learned and totally legitimate in literate parts of the world.

    • Ignorant Patrick – “spelt” is correct !!!!! And the author of this page does not know her grammar at all – she is constantly writing *it’s* (using apostrophe) when she should be writing * its * (without apostrophe).
      The apostrophe is ONLY used when * it’s* comprises an abbreviated form of IT IS – when using in the possessive case ( its shell, its form, its condition ) – NO apostrophe is used.

      So Patrick – a little bit of manners and learning on your behalf would indeed be welcome. “Spelt” is perfectly correct, either as past tense or past participle.

      • Hi Janvan
        Thanks for pointing out the grammatical errors on Stonesoup… definitely not my strongest point.
        If 100% correct grammar is so important to you, I’d probably recommend looking for other food blogs to read.
        All the best

      • A little bit of manners indeed!! a little bit of manners would be to omit the word “ignorant” and simply point out the grammar, if grammar is so important on this site.
        It would be kind to be somewhat blind to the mistakes of others, don’t we make enough of our own??

      • She was using it’s as a contraction, as in — “It is flaked — it has been cooked.” I think you take yourself a little too seriously! I just dropped in here to hear about the food, not grammar.

        • Thanks Elieen. I could not agree more. I was thoroughly enjoying the article and recipe and then I come upon the comments. Really people? Get over yourselves and be appreciative of the information at hand. Civility is definitely a commodity these days. Shame!

  • dear jules u r an angel in 5mts a novice like me learnt a lot keep it up all the best ciyer yours sincerely

  • Just thought I’d add my 2 cents’ worth as I came across your site while googling for Australian-grown quinoa. I’ve read a few times that apparently it’s getting expensive for the people in Bolivia who’ve always eaten it, because it’s suddenly trendy in the west. I’m a big fan now too, and after a bit of looking around I came across this Australian supplier – no idea what it’s like compared to the stuff from Coles/Woolies, but I think I’ll give it a try:
    ….just thought I’d share in case anyone else was interested. :o)

  • Sounds yummy, Jul!

    I’m a bit obsessed with quinoa at the moment and it seems to have been the addition to my lunch salads. Can not wait to give this one a go as a warm salad sounds good with this crazy cold weather!

    Luv u xoxo
    Ps. Who cares about the spelling! It’s all about the food :)

  • I always rinse my quinoa, regardless of what the package says. I also like to dry pan toast it slightly on the stove top before cooking. It enhances the flavor quite a bit, gives it a ‘nuttier’ taste. Well worth the effort flavorwise.

  • Oxfam at Broadway, Sydney, and throughout Australia including online sells different varities of rice and quinoa, including red quinoa. Worth giving them a try as you then also help support fair trade agriculture.

  • Trying my first bowl of quinoa flakes right now. Tastes kind of weird to me. If I didn’t know what quinoa was, and I came across a plant while lost in the wilderness, I would’ve assumed it was poisonous. Not too bad with with agave though…

    @Patrick – “Spelled” is used in America, whereas “Spelt” is used in most other English speaking countries. “Color” vs “Colour”, “Aluminum” vs “Aluminium”, “Organize” vs “Organise”, etc etc…

  • Just cooked up some quinoa for the first time. I did it rather like a pilaf, dry-frying some onion and garlic, adding the quinoa stirring til slightly toasted, then adding vegie stock (twice the volume of the quinoa), simmering covered for 15 minutes, then resting covered for 5. I now have a new favourite carb to add to the list of bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. Just delicious.

    Now then, as an American living in Australia with an interest in language and grammar, I have to provide a definitive quote on the spell/spelt controversy:

    “…Some of these verbs are irregular in British or American English only; in many cases, such as spell (spelt vs. spelled), learn (learnt vs. learned), and spill (spilt vs. spilled), American English uses the regular form, while British English tends to favor the irregular. In other cases, the opposite is true (dived and sneaked in Britain, also dove and snuck in America); Australian English, New Zealand English, and South African English tend to follow the British practice, while Canadian English often sides with the American usage.”

    When I moved here 40 years ago, Australians invariably used “spelt”; now they go about 50/50 spelt/spelled.

  • Very interesting, a 1st time for me, will it be available in S.A ?? would love to use it in a recipe which I saw on Pinterest.

    • Drienie

      It is available in SA. You will find it in your Dischem store at the health department. My daughter also use the Quinoa milk powder, also available from Dischem.

      • Erna, do you know anywhere we can obtain a reasonable amount at a reasonable price? Last I checked Dischem sold a little +- 500g packet for around R70.00 I think, which is obviously ridiculously over-priced and makes it useless for daily consumption!

        • Hi, Please correct my english if its not correctly written, I’m not an English speaking person.

          I’m not sure when this recipe was published and comments were written.
          SA has a wide range of grocery stores that sell Quinoa besides health food stores that are extremely expensive, these are; Clicks, Spar, Checkers, PnP, WW(expensive), Game as well as Dischem.

          I hope I answered your question.

  • Hello there, found you through Pinterest…Love your blog. Here in the USA a great way to purchase Quinoa is at Costco ( wholesale warehouse-membership required). It is much less expensive and by having the bulk I use it more frequently. Our family love’s it hot,cold,savory,sweet,added to green salads very versatile product.

  • Hi- I’m in the US, too, and have found white quinoa at BJs, another warehouse-membership club. Last year we planted quinoa from a seed supplier (www.territorialseed.com) not knowing what to expect. The plants we got resembled the edible weed we call goosefoot or lambs quarters. For several weeks we thought our seeds had not germinated because the bed was so weedy. Eventually it occurred to us these ‘weeds’ were our crop. By the time we figured it out, they were quite large so we never did try eating the leaves.

  • great post- I’m a big fan of the red quinoa. Sooooo yummy when I soak it overnight in water and a dash of lemon juice, then add a dash of soy sauce and lemon juice after it’s cooked. really yum. yay, quinoa! I’m thinking the red is imported from really far away, like South America- probably why you’re having trouble finding it in Oz.

  • I looooove quinoa. It’s really good with stir fries, curry or grilled meats with a light sauce. Me and my mother try to work quinoa into as many meals as possible for the protein. (It’s a complete protein, so it replaces meat perfectly. We rarely eat meat).

  • My daughter and I love quinoa, we have quinoa salads, quinoa risotto, quinoa porridge and we use it instead of rice with curries. You can now buy black quinoa in Woolworths FYI.

  • Drienie: It is available in South Africa. I’ve seen it in health stores (both in CPT and PTA) and even in Pick ‘n Pay and Spar sometimes in the health section.

    Can’t wait to get me some more quinoa! Thanks for the great recipe, Jules!

    • Stefanie, do you know anywhere we can obtain a reasonable amount at a reasonable price? Last I checked Dischem sold a little +- 500g packet for around R70.00 I think, which is obviously ridiculously over-priced and makes it useless for daily consumption!

  • Have just had my first experience with quinoa and found it to be rather delicious. I am so looking forward to now experimenting with all the different ways of cooking it. Your recipe Jules will be the next one on my list.

  • witch eva way it’s spellt “quinoa” taysts dee lish us.

    For Melbourne-ites, “Oasis” the North Rd, Murrembeena mecca of all things middle eastern and a lot of things south american, sells 3-4 types of Quinoa as part of their regular stock – red, white, black and mixed (tri-colour) in 250-500g bags. Much cheaper than health food stores, super-margarets etc.

  • Being Coeliac is the pits, tried Quinoa Flakes for breakfast and not impressed really bland. Can I use these flakes for Quinoa salads or do you have to buy the grain? I am going to try your cauliflower recipe it looks yum. I am willing to give Quinoa another try…

    • I make use quinoa for porridge instead of oats and have stewed fruit sweetened with honey and yoghurt on top with a splash of milk. It’s delicious!

  • A friend told me that we shouldn’t eat quinoa as it is only grown in poor South American countries (like Bolivia) and is a dietry staple for the locals. Now that it has gained international popularity the cost has gone up and the locals can no longer afford to use it. Is this true? Does anyone know?

    • Hi Trevor

      Not sure if want you have written is correct, but I do know that we do grow it here in Australia.

    • an earlier comment said something similar and provided a link for a locally grown option. Definitely sounds like something that should be considered though

  • I’m a recent convert to quinoa, and have gone a bit crazy swapping it for rice, couscous and burghal wheat – it’s a light, tasty revelation when used in Middle Eastern cooking.
    When our cauliflowers at home are ripe, I’m going to make this recipe throughout winter.
    Cheers for a great website.

    • Yay for quinoa Jenni!
      You’re right.. it’s brilliant in Middle Eastern cooking.
      It’s also a really lovely breakfast option instead of porridge or oatmeal

  • Tried quinoa for the first time this eveniing in a pumpkin & walnut salad & was quite surprised & impressed! So easy to cook, tastes great, & so versatile! I’m supposed to be on a low carb diet though, as I ‘m producing too much insulin & was wondering if the benefits of quinoa would outweigh the carb “thing”?

  • I bought a 1.81kg bag at Costco in Melbourne a few weeks ago.I remember it was cheaper than the Coles I buy it at but have forgotten the price.

    I have to tell the kids that its ancient super rice and they lap it up.

  • Just had a warm (re-heated!) salad of Quinoa, roasted pine nuts and sunflower kernels, parsley and feta. Dressing of honey, lemon juice, olive oil and paprika….bewdiful (if I do say so myself!)

  • Hi ,
    Going to try some Quinoa flakes instead of oats (as daughter is anaphylactic to oats) in ANZAC biscuits for tomorrow – hope it works, she’s 8 and hasn’t had an ANZAC biscuit since she was 3 when she became unconscious from one, she’s desperate to try one.

  • I came on your site when looking for Quinoa recipes. Great, I made porridge this morning.

  • Thanks for sharing… Going to grab my first bag of quinoa tomorrow. Can’t wait to give your recipe a try.

    Had a great time over the English lesson… I really “learnt” a lot….

  • I’ve been experimenting with quinoa for a few weeks, with the flour and have produced pecan and raisin cake, and garlic, chili and olive bread. Am next going to try using the seeds instead of rice to go with the eggplant and tomato curry curry I’ve just made. For the Quinoa, Garlic, Chili and Olive Bread I have used:
    1 cup quinoa flour, 1 cup low fat natural yoghurt, 2 eggs, 1/8th cup olive oil, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 level teaspoon of minced chili, approximately 8 green olives and 8 kalamata olives, sliced or chopped, lots of ground black pepper to taste.
    1. Mix first six ingredients together. (It should be moist enough with the yoghurt and eggs and olive oil without need for any other liquid).
    2. Fold in remaining ingredients.
    3. I only have an “air oven” which means cooking a small loaf, very small, in fact. I used a round 4.5″ spring form pan and the majority of the mixture fitted into the pan.
    4. Using the “air oven” preheated, I baked it for 15 minutes at 160 degrees. Tested the centre, and put it back in for another 5 minutes.
    I am really looking forward to having a sandwich for lunch tomorrow! No falling asleep from elevated blood sugar levels, no upset digestion from bread.
    If you try the above recipe, I hope it works as well for you as it has done for me. Tomorrow I shall try the cauliflower recipe.

  • Hi there, I was wondering if anyone can tell me if you can freeze quinoa? Also how long does it store in the fridge?

  • Would quinoa be considered ok on a paleo diet seeing as it is a seed, not really a grain? Just wondering…

    • I think most hard core paleo followers believe that even though techincally quinoa is a seed, it looks and tastes like a grain and so should be avoided.

      For me though, I think the high protein content and deliciousness make it worth an exception :)

  • Love quinoa, have it cooked for breaky every day. I think I will have a go at growing it next spring. Love the cauli salad, looks great

  • Thank you for this site, I have just bought quinoa for the first time & had no idea what to do with it but am looking forward to trying a few recipes now. I suffer from Rheumatiod Arthritus & am trying to use superfoods & organics to ease my symptoms rather than nasty prescription drugs. I just found out that 2 of the drugs my doctor had prescribed me were dangerous to be used together & since I stopped them I feel better. They caused me to constantly sweat, heart pulpatations, stomach, chest pain, dizziness etc… I lost my twin sister due to this awful desease just last year & don’t want to die such a horrible death as she did as she became addicted to the discusting concoction of drugs her doctor had her on & her liver gave out. So as you can see, I’m on a mission to learn more abouta healthy life.

    • Hi Janine
      I’m sorry to hear about your sister
      I wish you well on your mission to learn more about a healthy life.

  • Hey! You didn’t like it in a salad? Try cooking first, then mixing with cucumber, tomato, onion, feta and random Italian dressing (or make your own Greek! Better idea) and BAM. Friggin amazing cold salad that’s super filling. I climb, prune and any trees 12 hours a day. This salad and random experiments keep me going!

    • Hi Jane
      There are a few quinoa recipes on stonesoup… just use the ‘search box’ in the side bar to explore them

  • Hi JULES

  • Why are all of you people fighting about grammar? The subject here is the friggin food. *Yeah thats write grammar that some why dont ya*. You people must be the same idiots that search the web for any chance to spout your intelligence on someone else to try and make yourselves feel better about your own inadequacies. Well have a good night’s rest because you have put someone else down again you losers. Next commenter, please make it about the actual subject.

  • Hi Jules just randomly looking for interesting quinoa recipes and found you!!!!! Have just cooked for the first time and canot wait for dinner tonight!!! Hoping it helps with my digestive problem and will defiantly become part of my new eating plan. Best part about your blog it’s fresh,funky and fun. Keep it up……love ir

  • On the Sunshine Coast the Natural foodstore at Forest Glen sells all three colours, and also a blend of the three in bulk. The blend is $17.50 kg. Sounds like you Southerners are getting shafted.

  • In Tazzy I foung organic quinoa in health-food-shop $9.95 per kg.
    Cooked it yesterday – first time ever. Interesting texture and taste… but sticky like a porrige. I was hoping for something like coucous. Will try again with different proportion of water.
    Thank you , Jules for such interesting blog!

    • hey tash

      I love cous cous and quinoa; however, they can both be cooked in so many ways and end up completely different.

      I prefer my quinoa as whole seeds rather than flakes where each little granule is cooked but kind of fluffy.

      I rinse the quinoa in a strainer and then put double the amount of water into a saucepan

      1 cup – 2 cup water is good for three people

      then boil it for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and then test it a little, anywhere between 2 – 5 more minutes from here, pretty much the majority of water will be boiled out. then dump it back in the strainer and rinse with warm water.


      good luck

    • I found the perfect recipe yesterday! 1 cup quinoa to 1 and 3/4 cup of liquid. My double ratio had also come out really porridge like when I was hoping for a texture like cous cous. The 1 3/4 cup liquid accomplished that for me. Cooked it on medium/low heat for 13 minutes and let it sit off heat for another 5.

  • Quinoa patties are the BEST thing i’ve ever eaten; I discovered them recently and literally have not stopped eating them. I’m addicted. They are so yum and so so easy to make; you can make a whole batch of them and refridgerate as well. I found my recipe on Two Tarts, but there seem to be quite a few floating around google. All you need is quinoa, bread crumbs, some eggs, salt, and whatever new herbs have been growing (for example, spring onion, mint, parsley). Such an easy recipe that you can chop and change to suit your tastes; even the egg can be replaced with oatmeal for vegans.
    Best superfood ever!

  • I just made this recipe tonight for dinner, except I substituted the bocconcini for cream cheese. It was so yummy! Probably one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long time. Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

  • Like the idea Of Quinoa. Must try it. How about using egg substitute in the patties. They sound so good.

  • As I am Gluten intollerant, here is my question. Beef barley soups is one of my favorites when it get cold here. Can I substitute the barley for quinoia? I’ve cooked it a few times, but I still do not know. I make my soup in the crock pot and let it cook all day. Any experiences here?

    • Absolutely Rebecca!
      The flavour and texture will be different with the quinoa but I imagine it will still be just as delicious.
      I’d probably just substitute the quinoa for the barley and see how you go.
      Good luck!

    • Hi Rebecca we share the same health concerns. I like your soup idea here thanks using quinoa

      **I am not trying to be rude just want to point out that Coeliac Disease, is not an intolerant, I suppose it is always mis-interrupted as gluten intolerance, nor is it an allergy. It’s the only autoimmune disease that resides in the small intestine.**

  • Cricket Champion – Cricket bowling machine can make such development in your batting that you dream.
    The structure of the game is very simple – one team bats and tries to score as many runs as they possibly can.
    This is a crucial goal for one’s batting and fielding.

  • I have just recently discovered quinoa, and am loving it. Tonight I made quinoa (cooked in chicken broth, with shallots) and pan fried ham steaks. Cut the ham up into small chunks and mixed with the quinoa, and it was delicious!

    I find the ham needs to be pan fried briefly, cold and uncooked was not great.

  • HI

    • Hi, I just read an article saying that India has only recently become very interested in quinoa. 2013 is going to be the year for a big push in quinoa world wide.

  • Hi, I am looking for quinoa flake recipes at moment. Have mastered quinoa cooking (best and easiest is in a rice cooker) but always looking for different ways to serve it up. Love quinoa flour – my husband and his triathlete mates love being able to have sweet treats without resorting to white carbs. Quinoa flakes I’m still experimenting with but would love any recipes that don’t include the word “porridge”! Love the info

    • I haven’t used quinoa flakes Becs… but try substituting them in any recipe that uses rolled oats or other rolled grains.. Good luck

  • I have now made this several times as it is so easy and delicious and great as left overs! Last week I made it I using Thai Red Curry Paste in place of the tomato paste. I used one tablespoon, but next time I will use two!! Delicious!!
    Thanks Jules for encouraging creativity and “alternatives”/template recipes. It is so much more fun to be in the kitchen!

    • LOVE the idea of using curry paste Mimi… will have to try it myself!
      And so glad you’re enjoying the alternatives :)

  • I also was skeptical at first just going by the looks of it. Now I love it especially since I’m trying to eat a vegan life style, this provides me protein lost by not eating meats. I have found using store bought veggie broth or veggie water from steaming veggies brings flavor to the quiona. Guessing you could use almost any broth..my neighbor who is a meat lover lover when I need green peppers on peppers yellow peppers in a purple onions sauteed in chipolte a barbecue sauce and served with the quinoa in a spelt wrap.LOL he really liked it just as sides with his grilled chicken

  • I cook it in the rice cooker. 1 part quinoa 2 parts water. Then chuck in some grilled/roasted veggies and some lamb. Easy.

  • Hi Jules,

    Thanks for the great recipe! I was a bit skeptical about quinoa to begin with as it seemed liked a bit too much of a fad for my liking… but now I cook with it all the time and as a Vegetarian it is a good source of protein and iron. My favourite recipes that I’ve come up with lately are quinoa stuffed mushrooms and capsicums. Would be happy to provide them :)

    Thanks again.

  • Dear J.C.,

    I really enjoyed this information on quinoa. I’ve just recently decided to only purchase quinoa made in the United States, given the heavy burden now on Peru and Bolivia.

  • I make a really yummy Quinoa salad with the red Quinoa seeds. I just bring them to the boil and then drain them, add curry powder, lime juice, chick peas, almonds, pine nuts, grated carrot and spring onions and a dash of light olive oil – its a yummy side for BBQs or just on its own!

    • Hi Hannah, would it possible for you to give me the quantities of your ingredients you use, your recipe really sounds yummy. I live in South Africa.

  • Substitute rice with quinoa when making homemade fried “rice”
    I cooked it for my family and they loved it!! Even my brother who hates trying new things thought it was awesome, mum said she didn’t feel bloated like she sometimes does with rice

  • I like to make a simple salad with the quinoa. I cook it with an organic vegetable stock cube. When cooked and cooled down I fluff it up and add chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, Spanish onions, capsicum, grated carrot and whatever else I have in the vege crisper. I just love it soooo much. I usually have it with grilled fish. I really pile my quinoa salad on my plate. Too much is never enough.

  • I am new to all this and was given quinoa by my dietitan i brought the packet from my health food store i hve been reading all the comments i was just wondering if it is the packet stuff you are all cooking ??????/

  • I’m introducing a lot lower carbs in my meal routine.
    Would you know how many carbs per 100g?

  • Start looking out for Australian grown quinoa. Now being trailed in the WA wheatbelt, and the Ord River Irrigation Area.

  • Quinoa has been grown for at least the last 3 years in Tasmania by Lauran and Henriette Daman at Kindred Farm. I think there was a story on ABC Rural Radio on 23/03/2011 and it can be heard on their web site at http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2011/s3171369.htm

    I have recently purchased a book called “Quinoa 365” by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming – Murdoch Press ISBN 97817442664538
    Another book of interest is “Supergrains” (Eat Your Way to Great Health) – (though no technically a grain) by Chrissy Freer – Murdoch Press ISBN 9781743316269. It cover many other “Grains” including Quicoa, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Brown Rice, Chia Millet, Oats, Kamut, Spelt, Barley, Farro and Freekeh. Both books cost me $30 each.


  • What a great idea! I am definitely going to try that. I often cook risotto and instead of arborio or other risotto rice I use quinoa instead. Delicious!!

  • I think you mean ‘bite-sized’ pieces. ‘Bight’ sized could cause some problems…although I guess it depends how many people you’re feeding.

  • I’ve had quinoa sitting in my cupboard for an eternity, a little scared to delve in and try cooking it. Finally did it tonight. Dead easy. Super delicious. I roasted the cauliflower with some cumin and chilli, and served with yoghurt, parsley and coriander instead of bocconcini and chives. Total winner!

  • A saponin is actually a whole class of molecules that were originally named this way because they foamed like soap when shaken in water. Somewhat ironically, the process of making soap from fat is called saponification, but the soap molecules share no structural resemblance to saponins!

    (I’m in school for biochemistry/chemistry and) I didn’t even know some of this until I double-checked myself against Wikipedia. I would say go look it up if you’re interested, but both articles (on saponification and saponins) are written as if they have the sole purpose of excluding people who haven’t studied chemistry.

  • Heat 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil and one minced garlic clove about 1 min. Add shredded kale until it is wilted, 2-3 min. Add cooked quinoa, salt and pepper. I could eat this every day.

  • I just had Quinoa for the first time ,it was frozen and on sale at the local super market what a wonderful experience with frozen shrimp after co0king the quinoa in the micro wave I thawed the shrimp under cold water mixed the both togeather and I had a wonderful meal could not stop eating

  • I made Quinoa last night, Instead of using stock or water, I used coconut Milk. and servce with Spicy Barramundi

  • I cooked quinoa for the first time this week and must say I am totally addicted already.

    I made a salad with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, fresh coriander and spring onions and dressed it with lime juice. The first night I served it with grilled haloumi and the second with poached salmon “san choy boa” style. Delicious.

    I love cauli so am keen to try your recipe too.

    Off to check out the rest of your blog xoxox

  • I’m intrigued with “8. it looks like a grain but is actually a seed” Is there any type of grain that ISN’T a seed?

      • Anything that results from a pollinated flower and can reproduce the plant/bush/tree from which it came is a seed. That category has many different sub-types within which are shared characteristics specific to that sub-type. Grains are one of them, as are nuts. For example, grains can be dried and stored for relatively long periods, as can any of the flours made from them. Nuts can’t be dried, and have a limited storage times because the oils in them go rancid. One of the reason ‘seeds’ is not a good label for either.

  • I have j6st gobe on a diet , a friend of mine made a meal and put this on as side dish love it so now needvideas

  • I am amazed that the Grammar Police did not comment that wrong was wrong and should have been the adverb wrongly

    • LOL!! I know right?!
      I picked up on so many errors too. But hey, when you’re here to read about nutrition and diet, who has time to correct grammar?!

  • Lol did you really you get comment on your spelling mistake. I think that was the OCD kicking in and they just had to inform you! Anyways thanks for the post, very informative.

    I soak my quinoa in organic garlic and herb stock. Also contains the whole amino profile :-), from my knowledge was not mentioned on the post but a worthy addition.

  • Wheat..looks like a grain, but is actually a seed!
    ditto oats, rye, rice ,corn etc.
    point 8 tells me all that went before & after is B.S.!
    Define seed and start again.

    • If you’re going to get caught up with definitions longjok.. this probably isn’t the best blog for you
      All the best

    • I think that this grain is really a type of corn instead of some “magic food”.South America makes money off the naïve yuppies

    • Actually, ‘longjok’, she is correct. ‘Grains’ are the seeds of grassy-type plants, which quinoa is NOT. Quinoa is classified as a pseudo-cereal, with seeds that can be milled into flours, etc., and used in essentially the same ways as grains, but since it does not come from a grassy plant, it is not considered to be a grain; it is a seed. It is related to beets and chard, not wheat, barley, and oats…

  • Lol…. I was googling about Quinoa and came accross this page….

    Jules… Thanks for sharing your knowledge about Quinoa… As I am a vegetarian.. it is something that I am thinking of including in my diet from now and the cauliflower recipe looks yummy!!!

    Others….are you here for correcting people’s grammar?? just read the blog for the purpose of why it was written!! for learning more about Quinoa!! Stop acting like my phone’s annoying Auto-correct!

    I am gonna definitely try this one :) may be even try new recipes… with Indian curries :D


  • I have been eating quinua for a while now, I find it not only delicious as well as a good source of supplements, I have a friend that is importing it directly from Bolivia if anyone is interested to buy or distributed please let me know my email address is

  • Jules, thanks so much for this great information. I have not tried quinoa yet but have wanted to give it a go. I’m always hesitant to try something new and “healthy” for the exact reasons you’ve already stated. With that being said, we tend to eat way too much white rice in our home and are looking for alternatives. Would quinoa be one of those possible alternatives for rice? Thanks again.

  • I asked Google about quinoa, and your thread came up. I was recently diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, so anything new is of interest to me. I will have to try the recipe, it looks quite tasty.

  • Prepared quinoa for the let time. It was garlic and herb. It was delicious. My take is if it can substitute a starch I’m on board.

  • Another site I was on stated that you should NOT eat quinoa uncooked, because humans cannot digest it properly (uncooked) and you could experience health problems from large starch (?) molecules ending up in your bloodstream!

    So, please, cook your quinoa! ?

  • As a coeliac, I have to be super cautious with regards to what I eat and only recently learned that quinoa is gluten-free. Being bored with rice (I mostly eat brown rice), I saw precooked, microwavable red quinoa in my local supermarket, so grabbed a bag. I didn’t see the cooking instructions on the bag regarding microwave and as I don’t still own a microwave, simply put water into my pressure cooker and cooked the quinoa in the bag until it was hot (without the lid on the pressure cooker). It worked well, the quinoia tasted interesting and pleasant (I had it with spicy grilled chicken) and will be doing it again. As I have an aversion to cauliflower, I will try your recipe but substitute with broccoli. :)

  • Oops! Just read MK’s comments about uncooked quinoa. I purchased some packaged 3 mix certified organic late last year and have been adding a teaspoon to my breakfast cereal daily with no apparent ill effects. Directions For Use did contain soaking and boiling but no warning about the alternative.

  • Quinoa carries all nine amino acids like meat protein! Without the cholesterol and fat!! Bonus!!!

      • We make our own cholesterol and superior fats are found in plant based foods. Which leaves it up to ethics vs taste. Why cause suffering when there is no need? There is nothing in meat and dairy that isn’t found in a more bio available form from plant based sources. Anyone who says otherwise has been conditioned to believe so, is following cultural habits blindly or, perhaps more so, loves the taste and is not very imaginative in trying other things. Good science [not for financial gains, but rather truth], shows this to be the case.
        Quinoa here I come!
        For your consideration, re:Health

        • Couldn’t agree more Fred. As a vegan I am changing my little dogs diet to vegan as well and quinoa is recommended as the highest source of plant based protein. She loves it!
          Interesting reading in your link too.

  • I don’t mind eating quinoa as a breakfast cereal with yogurt, banana & other fruit. It a very good face cleanser. Its good for gravity sickness and other things. If you go to south America it is apart of there diet and that’s why they are healthy.

  • I am allergic to corn. It is a trigger food for my severe migraines….I really would like to try this super food ass I’m trying to eat healthier…so far I have read up about it and it says it’s in the beat family. Can anyone tell me a definite no to the corn family ???

  • There are two cultivars of quinoa that gluten sensitive people should avoid. These are Pasankalla (red) and Ayacuchana (Peruvian). These two cultivars have produced gluten type reactions in some people.

  • Just came across your thread and was wondering how it would be in a diet for diverticulosis where seeds and nuts are prohibited.

  • Please, please, please, take all the apostrophes out of the word its in every instance on your site. Please look up the usage. It is very distracting and detracts from your information.

  • Hi
    Nice page,

    Just wondering if I soaked quinoa in coconut cream could I use it as a “pudding” come desert breakfast or snack ?

    I hope I spekt everything wright:-)

  • Is quinoa a fruit or a vegetable.Can one buy it in New Zealand.If so from which sort of shop.

    • It’s neither fruit nor vegetable Nolan
      Most supermarkets or health food shops stock it here in Australia.

  • I just had Quinoa for the first time, mixed with ground beef and stuffed in a pepper (I guess as a substitute for rice). I was pleasantly surprised. I would have never tried it on my own but am glad that I did. Thanks HelloFresh!

Comments are closed.