Archives for posts with tag: quinoa

Quinoa chocolate cake

This cake was baked (and photographed) by a good friend and talented baker, Iris, in Seattle Washington.  The recipe was adapted from


  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa (about 1/3 cup dried quinoa; for cooking instructions click here)
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (200 mL)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt


quinoa chocolate cake2

Combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients then add wet to dry slowly and mix until blended. Pour the batter into a small pan and bake for 45 minutes at 375 F or until a fork comes out clean when pierced through the middle of the cake.

Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack then dust with confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!

Nutrition (per serving or 1/8th of the recipe):

  • Calories: 158
  • Carbs: 21 g
  • Protein: 3.9 g
  • Fat: 8.4 g
  • Fiber: 2.6 g


It’s pumpkin season! Pumpkin is an excellent source of beta-carotene.  These tasty muffins are dairy- and egg-free, but if you would prefer a recipe that uses eggs, click here.


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup milk (or alternative such as soy or almond milk)

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp ground flax

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup honey, agave syrup or maple syrup

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup cooked quinoa


Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a muffin tin (or line with paper cups). In a medium-sized bowl, mix the chia seeds, flax seeds and milk. Let stand 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile,  in a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.When the chia mixture has started to gel, add the brown sugar, honey, pumpkin puree, oil, and vanilla and mix well. Stir in the quinoa and add the wet mixture to the dry. Stir ingredients together just until moistened (do not over-stir, or the muffins will be tough).

Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffins comes out clean (about 18-20 minutes). Makes 12 muffins.

Nutrition (per one muffin made with almond milk):

  • Calories: 174
  • Carbs: 29 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Fibre: 3.2 g


These vegetarian burger patties are low in fat, high in fibre, gluten-free, soy-free and vegan-friendly (unless of course you add cheese). The quinoa can be substituted with cooked millet or barley. 


1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups)

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium sweet potatoes, boiled and mashed (about 2 cups)

2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled (from 2/3 cups dry—click here for cooking instructions)

1/2 cup  chopped onion

3/4 cup bread crumbs (gluten-free if needed)

1 tbsp arrowroot powder (optional, but it helps to bind the burgers)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or cilantro (or whatever you have on hand)

Olive or vegetable oil for frying

Optional: 1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat’s cheese


Mash half of the black beans then stir together all of the ingredients, except the oil, in a large bowl. Form into burger-sized patties. Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties in batches, 3-4 minutes on each side. Eat as a burger with a whole wheat bun and your favourite toppings, or as patties with a side of salad. Makes about 10 burgers. Tip: to increase the firmness of the burgers, refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking. 

Nutrition (per one patty, without cheese):

  • Calories: 126
  • Carbs: 20 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Fat: 2.7 g
  • Fibre: 5.3 g

This is an easy, refreshing, nutritious and colourful salad. 


2 cups cooked quinoa (from 2/3 cup dry–click here for cooking instructions)

1 cup cooked black beans (rinsed if canned)

1 cup cooked corn kernels

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

3/4 cup chopped tomatoes

2 scallions, chopped

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

juice of one lime (about 1/4 cup)

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin


In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the quinoa, beans, corn, vegetables and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, oil, salt and cumin. Pour the lime mixture over the quinoa mixture and stir to coat. Makes 5 cups.

Nutrition (per 1/5th of the recipe or 1 cup):

  • Calories: 215
  • Carbs: 31 g
  • Protein: 7.7 g
  • Fat: 7.6 g
  • Fibre: 6 g
  • Iron: 2.1 g (7% DV)
  • Vitamin C: 22 mg (37% DV)
  • Folate: 114 mcg (29% DV)

These cookies are high in fibre and are a source of protein, so you can feel a little less guilty about eating them.  For a gluten-free version, replace the oats with extra quinoa or another grain of your choice. (This recipe was adapted from:


2 cups cooked quinoa (2/3 cups dry cooked with 1 1/3 cups water–for instructions, click here)

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cups natural, salted peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup dry shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 325˚F (170˚C). Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (I find it works best to mix all ingredients but the chocolate together while the quinoa is still warm). Form into cookies, flatten, and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes (or until golden brown). Makes 24 cookies. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Nutrition (per 1 cookie):

  • Calories: 103
  • Carbs: 10 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Fibre: 1.5 g

This spin on rice pudding makes a healthy dessert or breakfast. It is high in fibre, low in fat and is gluten, egg, and dairy-free (if a dairy substitute, such as soy milk is used).


1 cup dry quinoa

2 cups milk (dairy, almond, soy etc.)

1 cup apple juice

1 apple, cored and diced

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp brown sugar or honey (or to taste)

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of salt


Place all ingredients in a saucepan and stir, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer covered 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The quinoa will be translucent when fully cooked. Remove from heat and let stand about 10 minutes. Serve warm or chilled. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition (per serving, made with 2% milk):

  • Calories: 195
  • Carbs: 35 g
  • Protein: 6.8 g
  • Fat: 3.4 g
  • Fibre: 2.9 g
  • Calcium: 112 mg (11% DV)
  • Iron: 1.4 mg (10% DV)
  • Zinc: 1.3 mg (9% DV)

This recipe (created by my mom) is a great way to use leftover quinoa. It is simple to make and tastes delicious. Canned salmon is great source of omega-3, vitamin D, and calcium (if the bones are left in). For a vegetarian version, the salmon can be replaced with 1/2 cup cooked beans or lentils and 1/4 cup of feta cheese.


2 cups cooked quinoa

1 can (200g) salmon, drained

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup fresh herbs of your choice (parsley, cilantro, dill etc.)

1 tsp dried onion, or 1/4 cup chopped fresh green onion

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp canola oil for frying


For instruction on cooking quinoa, see my quinoa spotlight (2/3 cup dry quinoa makes 2 cups cooked). Mix all ingredients except oil in a mixing bowl. Form the quinoa mixture into 8 palm-sized patties. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Place 4 of the patties in the pan and cook 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Add the remaining oil and cook the last 4 patties. Serves 4.


Per serving (2 patties):

  • Calories: 260
  • Carbs: 16.5 g
  • Protein: 21.7 g
  • Fat: 11.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 124 mg
  • Fibre: 2.3 g
  • Calcium: 210 mg (21% DV)
  • Iron: 2.7 mg (15% DV)
  • Vitamin D: 568 IU (95% DV)

Quinoa is one of my favourite grains. It is nutrient dense, gluten-free, cooks quickly, has a nice flavour and can be incorporated into many different dishes. 


Quinoa is an ancient whole grain high in protein, fibre and numerous vitamins and minerals. Below is a chart comparing the nutrient profiles of quinoa, brown rice and white rice (unenriched).

Nutrient             (per 1 cup, cooked) Quinoa Brown rice White rice
Amount %DV Amount %DV Amount %DV
Calories 222 ~ 216 ~ 205 ~
Carbohydrate 39 g ~ 45 g ~ 45 g ~
Protein 8 g ~ 5 g ~ 4 g ~
Fat 4 g ~ 2 g ~ 0 g ~
Fibre 5 g ~ 4 g ~ 1 g ~
Iron 2.8 mg 15% 0.8mg 5% 0.3 mg 2%
Calcium 31mg 3% 18.5 mg 2% 15.8 mg 2%
Zinc 2 mg 13% 1.2 mg 8% 0.8 mg 5%
Magnesium 118 mg 30% 84 mg 21% 19 mg 5%
Potassium 318 mg 9% 84 mg 2% 55 mg 2%
Phosphorus 281 mg 28% 162 mg 16% 68 mg 7%
Vitamin B6 0.2 mg 11% 0.3 mg 14% 0.1 mg 7%
Folate (B9) 78 mcg 19% 7.8 mcg 2% 4.7 mcg 1%
Thiamin (B1) 0.2 mg 13% 0.2 mg 13% 0.0 mg * 2%
Niacin (B3) 0.8 mg 4% 3 mg 15% 0.6 mg 3%

* Trace amounts, DV= daily value

How to cook it:

Rinse 1/2 cup of dry quinoa with cold water. Add the rinsed quinoa to 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 15 minutes. The grains will look translucent when fully cooked. Serves 2.

How to use it:

Breakfast: Prepare quinoa as a hot cereal. Stir in a bit of cinnamon and brown sugar. Top with milk and fresh fruit.

Lunch/Dinner: Add cooked quinoa to a salad or soup, use it anywhere you would use rice (stir fry, side dish), or try quinoa salmon patties

Dessert: Make a quinoa pudding:

Quinoa apple cranberry pudding

Use quinoa to make cookies, as in this creative recipe:

Quinoa peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies

Where to find it:

Quinoa can be found at any natural food store, as well as some grocery and corner stores. However, at some places it can be quite expensive (so shop around). I found that the cheapest place to get it by far is at Costco: $10.49 for a 4 lb bag (which makes 41 servings) of organic quinoa. This works out to be $2.62/lb or $0.58/100g or $0.25/serving.