Cooking with quinoa

Things to know about quinoa and some recipes to consider.

Quinoa, a grain originated from Bolivia, Chile and Peru around 5,000 years ago, has gained a lot of popularity and attention over the years. Not only can quinoa can be consumed in various ways like rice, flour, soup or cereal, but also does it have abundant nutrients. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. In addition, according to the USDA, it also has high concentrations of fiber, magnesium, vitamin B, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and a variety of antioxidants.

This superfood comes in different colors including beige, red and black, which can make cooking it much more fun by combining all three colors. Since quinoa has a bitter-flavor coating, it is good to rinse it before cooking. Its nutty flavor coupled with its popping texture make it fun to eat! You can cook quinoa for pilafs, salads, soups, casseroles and many more. Michigan State University Extension recommends the following recipes.

If you love your food to have some Asian flavors, this recipe may be for you.

All Recipe’s Quinoa with Asian Flavors

Start to finish: 40 minutes
Servings: 4


    • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup quinoa
    • 2 cups chicken broth (MSU Extension recommends using low sodium)
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce (MSU Extension recommends using low sodium)
    • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
    • 1 clove garlic (minced)
    • 2 green onions (chopped)


Heat olive oil in a pan. Add in quinoa and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add in all the other ingredients expect for green onions. Bring the mix to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce heat and let it simmer until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa become soft. Top quinoa with chopped green onion before serving.

If you like to have a one-pot meal, try kale and mushroom quinoa with Romesco or lemon-garlic shrimps with radish and green bean quinoa.

If you would like to make some healthy snacks or new breakfast ideas for your children, the quinoa-crusted chicken nuggets and breakfast quinoamight be up your ally.

When cooking, be mindful of the amount of salt and sugar that you add into your meal. Also, do not forget to add physical activities into your daily routine! MSU Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating and food safety.

For more health and nutrition tips, visit MSU Extension website.

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