Tag Archive | Quinoa

Tasty Tuesdays – Turkey & Quinoa Meatloaf

Quinoa is incredibly popular for many reasons; it’s tasty, versatile and delivers a wide range of beneficial nutrients.  The original recipe can be found here and is absolutely delicious!  It also freezes very well, if you don’t gobble it up right away.


  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 package of lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp water


  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan and add chopped onion.  Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until tender.
  • Add the garlic to the onions and cook for another minute.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, cooled quinoa, onions, tomato paste, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, egg, salt and pepper.
  • Place on greased baking sheet and form into a loaf shape.
  • In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and water together.
  • Cover the loaf with this paste.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes and then let cook for 10 minutes before serving.

Interesting Facts

Quinoa is often referred to as a super grain because of its enormous nutritional value, but in truth it is not a grain at all. It is actually the edible seed from the fruit of a flowering plant (Mastebroek, et al., 2000).  Consumption of quinoa has become increasingly popular in recent days, however, many are unaware that it has been a staple food for thousands of years.  The Inca of the Andes cultivated quinoa and it was said to give their warriors power and stamina (Repo-Carrasco et al., 2003).  This pseudocereal comes in multiple varieties which was an important trait to these ancient peoples because it allowed them to grow a highly nutritious plant in vastly different climates, altitudes and soil types (Jancurova, et al., 2009).  One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8.14 g of protein, 5.2 g of dietary fibre  contributable amounts of healthy fatty acids and zero cholesterol.  These nutritional traits in combination with a high complex carbohydrate content cause quinoa to have a low glycemic index value (Jenkins, et al., 2008).  The relatively high volume of fibre and protein has also been shown to aid with cholesterol reduction and improved blood sugar regulation (Repo-Carrasco et al., 2003).  Furthermore, within that one cup of quinoa there are notable amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and vitamins A, B and E (USDA, 2012). Notably, quinoa’s calcium concentration is double that of most other grains and its high protein concentration further improves the absorption of this vital bone mineral (Polsi, 2011).  In addition to quinoa supporting your skeletal system, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have noted cardiovascular and digestive benefits (Pasko, et al., 2009).  Overall, this seed contains a winning blend of nutrients and essential amino acids that most typical grains cannot compete with (Jancurova, et al., 2009).  Interestingly, the upcoming year has been officially proclaimed “The international year of the quinoa” by The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO, 2012).  So get ready for 2013 by enjoying more quinoa in your diet.

Tasty Tuesdays – Quinoa Salad

I admit that the name of this recipe does not give this salad justice.  The additions of roasted butternut squash, goat cheese and spinach make this not only a rich source of many nutrients, but very tasty.  Although this salad is best when eaten right after preparation, it can last in the refrigerator for a few days and is still scrumptious when warmed up.


  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 ½ cups quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 20 g of goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • Salt & pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Cut butternut squash in ½ and scoop out the seeds.
  • Place both halves, inside facing up, on a baking sheet and roast for 1hour and 20 minutes or until tender and a fork can pierce easily.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Peel off skin and chop one ½ into bite sized pieces.  Save the other ½ in the refrigerator for another meal.
  • Combine the quinoa, vegetable broth and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat to low-medium and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork and stir in fresh spinach until wilted.
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Cut cherry tomatoes in half and add to the mixing bowl.
  • Stir in roasted squash pieces and crumbled goats cheese.
  • Add toasted pine nuts and combine.
  • Salt & pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Interesting Facts

Spinach is an edible flowering plant which comes in three different varieties distinguished by their leaf type; savoy, smooth and semi-savoy (LeStrange et al., 1996).  All three types are extremely nutritious and found in season now until the end of October.  One cup of raw spinach contains an abundance of dietary fiber, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, C, E and K.  As well, this leafy green has trace amounts of heart healthy fatty acids (USDA, 2012).  While spinach does have noteworthy concentrations of calcium, it also contains high amounts of oxalates which bind to this mineral and substantially decrease absorption by the body (Holmes and Kennedy, 2000).  However, spinach is still a great source of magnesium and vitamin K, which are both important for bone health (Armas et al., 2010).  The body’s conversion of vitamin K activates osteocalcin which is a protein responsible for bone mineralization (Kapustin and Shanahan, 2011).  Vitamin K not only helps to increase bone mineral density and decrease the chances of fractures, but has also been shown to play a major role in blood clotting (Weber, 2001).  Coagulation is extremely important for proper bodily functioning and if not maintained could lead to a wide range of problems.  Overall, spinach is a highly nutritious food containing several antioxidants which protect the body against oxidative damage and ensure proper health (Moser et al., 2011).   So it isn’t a stretch to think that Popeye was talking about more than just muscles when he said, “I’m strong to the finish when I eats me spinach”.

Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Pistachio Nuts Source

Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Pistachio Nuts Source

For the Love of Salad, by: Jeanelle Mitchell

This is a great recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks. The entire cookbook is made up of gourmet salads from greens to grains. Perfect for a dinner appetizer, a brunch option or to take to work for lunch!

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
¼ tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp liquid honey
¼ tsp hot pepper sauce
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 green onions, finely chopped
½ cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint or flat-leaf parsley
½ cup chopped toasted pistachio nuts

1. Quinoa: Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add quinoa and salt; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a medium bowl. Let cool to room temperature.
2. Dressing: Whisk together orange juice and zest, lemon juice, honey, and hot pepper sauce in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3. Add green onions, cranberries, mint, and dressing to quinoa and toss to combine. Add pistachio nuts just before serving.

Tip: Can make up to 2 days ahead, just cover and refrigerate!