Quinoa (pronounced “Keen Wa”) the Super Grain

ImageQuinoa  comes originall from Peru and comes in an number of colours, Black, red or white.  It is cooked easily, has the highest protein content of all grains and is a very good source of manganese.  Quinoa is gluten free so ideal to include in meals for people diagnosed with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance.

It substitutes well for rice, cous cous and can be used in salads, as a side dish, to make a pilaf or for stuffed vegetables.  As it has a subtle flavour you can add almost any herb, spice or vegetable to make interesting meals.  Why not try this new recipe I created on the week-end.  The coriander sauce makes an excellent marinade for fish chicken or tofu as well.

Coriander scented quinoa

Serves 4-6


Coriander sauce

1 bunch  whole coriander plants (cut lengthwise and wash well to remove grit).

2 eschallots white & green part roughly chopped

2 cm ginger knob (peeled)

2 cloves garlic

1 small red chilli (deseeded)

2 tblspns of fish sauce

1 tspn of rapidura (evaporated cane juice), or palm sugar or raw sugar

1 lime juiced.

1 cup of quinoa

2 cups of vegetable stock

2 tblspns of flaxseed or oil

2 tablespoons pine nuts


Add coriander and eschallots to blender and blend until finely chopped.  You may need to move mixture around with a spoon to chop all the ingredients evenly.

Roughly chop ginger and chilli and bruise garlic with the flat of a wide knife.  Add to blender and blend.  Add sauce, rapidura and lime juice. Blend until combined.

Bring to the boil then reduce and simmer until liquid is reduced to just covering quinoa 5-10mins

Put on lid and turn to low steaming for a further 10mins

All the liquid should be absorbed and the quinoa light & fluffy.

Heat oven to 1600C and add pine nuts on a baking tray to oven to brown, approximately 10 minutes.  Watch carefully as they burn easily.  

Spoon quinoa into serving bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons of coriander sauce, oil & pine nuts and mix through. (Sauce freezes well or use to marinade fish, chicken or tofu for 20minutes , then steam bake for 20-30minutes at 180oC). 

Serving suggestions

Use as an alternative to rice or couscous.  Serve with minted cabbage and carrot salad and marinated protein (suggestions as above).

Minted cabbage and carrot salad

Serves 4-6


2 cups white cabbage shredded (about 4cm slices)

2 cups red cabbage shredded (about 4cm slices)

1 cup grated carrot

2 tblspns dried incaberries (sweet but tart berry from the gooseberry family)

(If not available substitute cranberries or sultanas)

1 tblspn fish sauce

1 lime juice

2 tblspns of chopped fresh mint.


Combine all ingredients and combine well.  Leave for 20-30minutes before serving to allow incaberries to swell slightly.

Keeps well in the fridge for a few days.

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