March 2014 > Cooking with Quinoa

Healthy Recipe of the Month

Cooking with Quinoa

A good gluten-free source of protein, iron, and fiber, quinoa is a quick and flavorful way to get in a serving of whole grains. About the size of pellets of couscous, quinoa cooks in about 20 minutes. The only special handling required with quinoa is to give it a good rinse before cooking; otherwise, the grains can be bitter.

Why not try out these two quick and easy quinoa salad recipes? If you're interested in more, Cooking Light offers a collection of quinoa recipes.

Black Bean-Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lemon Dressing

Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain. Edamame makes a tasty substitute for lima beans in this recipe. For an attractive presentation, serve the salad on a bed of baby greens or spinach.

Servings: 10 (Serving size: 1 cup)

Black-Bean Quinoa Salad. Image for March 2014 Newsletter


  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
  • 1 (14-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans
  • 4 cups chopped tomato (about 3 medium)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Total Per Serving:
Calories - 232, Carbs - 35.1 gm, Fat - 6.2 gm, Protein - 9.8 gm, Fiber - 6.7 gm.


  1. Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat.
  3. Place tofu on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 5 minutes.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Add tofu; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  6. Sauté tofu 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat; cool completely.
  7. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, basil, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk until blended.
  8. Stir in quinoa.
  9. Cook lima beans according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Cool completely.
  10. Add the lima beans, tofu, chopped tomato, green onions, chopped carrot, and black beans to quinoa mixture; stir gently to combine.
  11. Store, covered, in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Red Quinoa Salad

Red quinoa makes a beautiful main-dish salad, but you can use whichever color you’d like.

Servings: 4 (Serving size: about 1 3/4 cups salad and 1 lemon wedge)

Quinoa Salad. Image for March 2014 Newsletter


  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) diced seeded tomato
  • 1/2 cup (1/2-inch) diced seeded cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 lemon wedges

Total Per Serving:
Calories - 460, Carbs - 48.4 gm, Fat - 24.7 gm, Protein - 12.5 gm, Fiber - 7.4 gm.


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  2. Drain and place in a large bowl. Let cool 1 hour.
  3. While quinoa cools, combine oil and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  4. Let stand 20 minutes.
  5. Add dressing, tomato, and next 4 ingredients (through chickpeas) to quinoa; toss well.
  6. Add cheese, and toss gently. Serve with lemon wedges.

Tip: Kids Can Help: With a child-safe knife, kids can chop the tomatoes and cucumber, and then crumble the feta.

Source: Cooking Light

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