Being one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat, it’s no question why meal preppers are including Quinoa in their diets. And compared to other grains, quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber.
Quinoa have two types, the red and creamy white which are both great wheat-free alternative to starchy grains. Moreover, unlike most grains lack, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids – including the elusive lysine and isoleucine acids. There’s basically a good reason why the ancient times branded quinoa as the “mother of all grains” and that’s thanks to its high-level nutrient contents aside from the fact that it is non-GMO and gluten-free as well.
- Full of nutrients
- It has plant compounds quercetin and kaempferol
- Compared to most grains, it is very high in fiber
- High in proteins and essential amino acids
- Glycemic index is low which is good for blood sugar control
- High content of iron and magnesium
- Beneficial effects on metabolism
- High antioxidants content
- May help you lose weight
- Easy to incorporate into the diet
How to Select
- Check if the quinoa container bins are covered.
- To ensure its maximal freshness, make sure that the store that the store has a good product turnover
- There must be no evidence of moisture whether quinoas are purchased in bulk or packaged container.
- Remember when deciding how many to buy that quinoa expands several times its original size during the cooking process.
How to Store
- Quinoa are considered as one of the soft grains whose seed interior aren’t protected by its soft outer shells which means it won’t last long. Hence, it should be used for short term food storage.
- Quinoas can last up to 8 long year if you are to seal it in a #10 can, or Mylar bag, with an oxygen absorber, at or below 70 degrees.
- If stored at cooler temperatures, quinoas can be kept longer.
- If stored in the refrigerator, quinoas can last approximately three to six months.
- Quinoa can be stored in Mason jars with oxygen absorbers if you have the room and want to have it available in smaller portion sizes.
Tips Preparing Quinoa
- Quinoas have a better coating on the tiny seed which makes it necessary to be rinsed well. Failure to do so would make it taste wrong.
- Make sure to utilize a fine-mesh strainer to avoid losing its tiny seeds down the drain while rinsing.
- Since quinoa holds lots of water, it is necessary to drain it thoroughly after it’s cooked.
- In order not to end up with clumpy and wet quinoa, make sure to return it to the pan after draining then cover and let sit for 15 minutes as doing so will dry it out.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes in tomato juice*
- 1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce**
- 1 can (15 ounces) corn
- 3 tablespoons or 1 packet (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning***
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Optional: queso fresco cheese, diced avocado, cilantro, fresh lime
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve to remove bitter saponin coating.
- In a large crockpot (I use a 6 quart crockpot), add in the quinoa, chicken stock (vegetable broth to keep vegetarian), drained and rinsed black beans, undrained diced tomatoes in tomato juice, enchilada sauce, drained corn, and packet taco seasoning (or homemade taco seasoning).
- Cover and cook on high 2 and 1/2 hours to 4 hours depending on the heat of your slow cooker.
- Important notes with cooking quinoa in slow cooker: slow cookers cook at different temperatures!! You’ll want to watch this carefully if you have a slow cooker that runs hot so the quinoa doesn’t get mushy. This recipe doesn’t work on low because the quinoa does get quite mushy when cooked on low for long time periods.
- When quinoa has popped and is cooked through, serve on corn or flour tortillas and top with your desired toppings.
- We love a squeeze of fresh lime, fresh cilantro, a diced avocado, and lots of queso fresco cheese!
- 3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon + 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons + 1/8 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce, divided
- 12 oz shredded or chopped cooked chicken breast (I cooked mine in a slow cooker the day before like so)
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- ½ cup carrots, diced very small
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 3 scallions, diced (the green parts)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- In a wok or large saute pan, bring two teaspoons of the canola oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 8-9 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions are cooked through and browning. Remove the onions to a side plate and remove the wok from heat.
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs with 1/8 teaspoon of the sesame oil and 1/8 teaspoon of the soy sauce. Lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Place the wok back over medium heat and add the remaining teaspoon of canola oil. Swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Add the egg mixture and scramble the eggs using a spatula. Remove the eggs to a side plate.
- Pour the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil into the wok and bring to medium heat. Add the cooked chicken, peas, carrots and the cooked onions from step 1 and stir until well mixed. Stir fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add the quinoa, scallions and bean sprouts and mix together. Continue to stir fry for another 3 minutes. Add the scrambled eggs and drizzle the entire mixture with the 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Mix the soy sauce in to coat and stir fry for another minute.
- 1½ cups quick cooking oats
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium)
- 2 flax eggs (reference this recipe for how to make them)
- 2 tablespoons nut/seed butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (powder or extract)
- 1½ cups fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9″x 9″ baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the sides with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oats, quinoa, sugar, baking powder, and hemp seeds.
- In a separate bowl, mix the banana, nut butter, flax eggs, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients, mixing everything together until fully incorporated. The batter should be moist, but not runny. Fold in the blueberries
- Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.
- Bake on the center rack for 25 – 35 minutes until the bars are golden brown and firm to the touch.
- Remove and let cool completely in the pan, then remove and slice into squares (or rectangles). Store in an airtight container for 4 – 5 days.
Quinoa being gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids makes it an incredible addition to the diet of healthy and fitness enthusiasts alike. Meal prepping with quinoa spells healthy all over.