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10 New Ways to Eat Quinoa

Low-Carb Cabbage Rolls

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Per serving (2 rolls): 247 calories, 11g fat (3g saturated), 22g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 140mg sodium, 22g protein

Not only are these rolls delicious, they're packed with super-nutrients such as glutamine (important for muscle health and digestion), immunity-boosting vitamin C, and vitamin A (for healthier looking skin), says weight-loss coach Charles D’Angelo, author of Think and Grow Thin, who created this recipe.

For the rolls:
12 cabbage leaves
1 lb ground chicken
¾ cup cooked quinoa
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 egg
½ cup skim or 1% milk
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp cornstarch

For the sauce:
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup good-quality low-sodium tomato sauce
1 tbsp basil
2 tbsp vinegar
½ cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Boil at least 8 cups of water in a large pot. Boil or steam cabbage leaves for 3 minutes. In a large bowl, combine chicken, quinoa, onion, egg, milk and pepper. Mix well and divide into 12 equal portions. Place each portion in a cabbage leaf. Roll up and secure with a toothpick. Place cabbage rolls side by side in a baking dish at least two inches deep, and pour sauce over the top. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. When cooked, remove cabbage rolls from baking dish. Transfer juices to saucepan. Mix cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water and stir into juices. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Simmer until sauce thickens. Pour over cabbage rolls when serving.

Makes 6 servings

Recipe provided by Charles D'Angelo

Vegan Chocolate Protein Bars

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Per serving (1 bar): 184 calories, 5.4g fat (3g saturated), 29g carbohydrates, 37mg sodium, 113mg potassium, 3g fiber, 7.3g protein

Skip the store-bought, processed protein bars and make your own with quinoa for a yummy, potassium- and protein-packed snack. One bar delivers all the energy you need to fuel your busy afternoon and your workouts.

¾ cup dry quinoa (or about 2 cups cooked)
½ cup dates, pitted
3 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
½ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp salt
½ cup protein powder (use your favorite brand, Frazier likes an unsweetened hemp version)
½ cup whole-wheat flour
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8 baking dish lightly with baking spray. Rinse the dry quinoa in cold water, then let sit in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. In the meantime, bring 1 cup of water to boil. Drain the quinoa and add to the boiling water. Cover, and reduce heat to simmer for about 12 minutes. Let cool enough to handle. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cooked quinoa, dates, agave nectar, vegetable oil, flaxseed, almond extract, and salt. Process until relatively smooth (the quinoa is so small it stays slightly lumpy). In a small bowl, stir together the protein powder, flour, and stir-ins. Fold this dry mixture into wet mixture with a spatula. The dough is very thick, like cookie dough, so use the spatula to press into prepared pan evenly. Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until firm. Let cool, then slice into a dozen bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Makes 12 servings

Recipe provided by Matt Frazier, The No-Meat Athlete

Quinoa-Crusted Shrimp

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Per serving (approx. 10 shrimp, varies depending on size): 202 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated), 1g fiber, 28g protein

Impress your guests with this amazing appetizer that’s low in fat and high in flavor. Use colored quinoa (red, white, black, or a combo) to add a bright, festive finger food to any party.

½ cup flour
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp paprika

¾ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup raw quinoa
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined

olive or vegetable oil, for frying

Set up 3 bowls and a baking sheet with a rack on top. In the first bowl, thoroughly mix together the flour with the salt and all of the ground spices. The second bowl will have the beaten eggs, and the third bowl, the quinoa. For each shrimp, holding by the tail dip them in the flour mixture, eggs, and then quinoa - shaking off excess at each stage. Place on the rack on the baking sheet and set in the fridge while heating the oil. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 to 3 inches of oil over medium high heat. Fry shrimp for 3 minutes and transfer to another rack on a baking sheet. Immediately season with a bit of salt while they are hot out of the oil. Serve warm.

Makes about 4 servings

Recipe provided by Chef Aliya LeeKong

Island-Style Quinoa Parfait

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Per serving (1 cup): 151 calories, 1.3g fat, 24g carbohydrates, 8.6g protein

Ditch the sugar-laden granola in your yogurt and try this tropical fruit parfait instead. Perfect for breakfast or as a snack, this parfait makes an excellent energy-boosting bite any time of day, says recipe creator Elisha Joyce (aka “The Quinoa Queen”).

1/3 cup cooked quinoa (cooked in plain water, no salt)
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup fruit of your choice (Joyce prefers mango and banana together)

Combine ingredients in a bowl, and serve! For some added flavor, Joyce recommends adding a drizzle of coconut milk, a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut, and/or a few crushed walnuts.

Makes 1 serving

Recipe provided by Elisha Joyce

Quinoa Mac n' Cheese Tomato Bowl

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Per serving (1 bowl): 155 calories, 9g fat (1.6g saturated), 14.8g carbohydrates, 2.1g fiber, 82mg sodium, 5.3g protein

Give your mac n’ cheese a makeover with this nutrient-packed, flavorful recipe that uses quinoa instead of pasta for a lighter, more nutritious dish.

1/4 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons pignoli nuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1/2 juice of fresh lemon
1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice (Kelly recommends a blend of Parmesan and Asiago)
4 organic beef steak tomatoes, top 1 inch sliced off, pulp and seeds scooped out

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa, and cook until the quinoa is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a mesh strainer, and rinse until cold; set aside. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, stir in pignoli nuts, and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, and cook until the garlic softens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and spinach; cook and stir until the quinoa is hot, and the spinach has wilted. Stir in the lemon juice, and the cheese. Meanwhile place tomatoes in a baking dish and place sliced top back on top of the tomato. Place in broiler for 5 minutes until softens slightly, but still remains intact. Take tomatoes out and place the quinoa mixture inside the tomato, like a bowl, and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe provided by Lauren Kelly Nutritionist

Quinoa and Veggie Soup

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Per serving (about 1 bowl): 182 calories, 13g fat (4g saturated), 4g fiber, 4g protein

Need to use those veggies in the crisper before they go bad? Toss whatever you have on hand into this hearty and healthy soup for a filling meal or appetizer.

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups finely chopped mixed vegetables (carrot, celery, zucchini, etc.)
4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups cooked quinoa
2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup cubed Monterey jack cheese (optional)
½ cup heavy cream
handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and throw in the red onion and jalapeno, as well as a bit of salt to draw out the moisture. Cook for a few minutes until the red onions start to turn translucent. Add in the scallions and mixed vegetables and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds and then throw in the quinoa and stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Add in the cheese, if using, and the heavy cream and simmer for another 2 minutes so the flavors come together. Add the cilantro and season to taste.

Makes about 4-6 servings

Recipe provided by Recipe provided by Chef Aliya LeeKong

Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

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Per serving (1 burger): 235 calories, 5g fat, 11g fiber, 10g protein

These super-healthy patties make a mouthwatering, protein-rich vegetarian alternative to hamburgers. Serve them up on a whole-wheat bun with garlic lemon mayo, fresh raw spinach, sliced tomato, and caramelized onions for a lunch or dinner hit.

1 15-oz. can black beans, well-drained
¾ cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup finely diced bell pepper
2 tbsp very finely chopped onion
½ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 large clove minced garlic
½ tbsp cumin
½ tsp salt
1 tsp hot sauce
1 egg
3 tbsp olive oil

Roughly mash black beans with a fork (there should be some whole blacks beans left in a sort of paste). Stir in quinoa, pepper, onion, breadcrumbs and garlic. Stir in seasonings. Stir in egg. Form into 5 patties. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, flipping half way. Serve on a bun and add your favorite toppings.

Makes 5 servings

Recipe provided by Leslie Merritt of Down Home City Sisters

Quinoa Broccoli Pilaf

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Per serving (1 cup): 150 calories, 3g fat, 74.3mg sodium, 6.5g fiber, 6.8g protein

Perfect as a side dish or a full vegetarian meal, this filling pilaf can be served up hot or cold.

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium head of broccoli (approximately 1lb), cut into florets and washed
1 cup quinoa, dry
2 ¼ cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika

Using a food processor, shred broccoli florets and stems (or finely dice with a knife). Using a medium sized saucepan, sauté onion in olive oil on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add shredded broccoli to pot and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes. Add dry quinoa, veggie broth, salt, pepper and paprika. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the liquid is totally absorbed.

Makes 6 servings

Recipe provided by Dara Reppucci

Asian Quinoa Salad

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Per serving (2/3 cup): 238 calories, 9g fat, 35g carbohydrates, 6g protein

Enjoy this salad for lunch or with dinner for a healthy dose of nutrients and flavor.

1⁄2 cup quinoa
1⁄2 cup diced red bell pepper
1⁄2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1⁄2 cup diced cucumber
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp agave nectar
1⁄4 tsp fine sea salt
1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp black sesame seeds
1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

Combine the quinoa and 1⁄2 cup water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Spoon the quinoa into a bowl and fluff with a fork. Add the bell pepper, scallions, and cucumber and toss to combine. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Add to quinoa mixture and toss well. Top with the sesame seeds and cilantro.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe reprinted from: Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food by Christine Avanti. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc.

Breakfast Quinoa

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Per serving (1 cup): 184 calories, 4.8g fat, 29.6g carbohydrates, 2mg sodium, 4.1g fiber, 6.8g protein

If you're tired of oatmeal or simply want to pump up your protein during breakfast, try this quinoa dish. This delish recipe is loaded with fiber and vitamins and minerals. Talk about a breakfast of champions!

½ cup raw quinoa
1 cup milk (or almond, soy, etc)
¼ cup fresh blueberries
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon

Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Rinse and drain quinoa. Combine quinoa and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to boiling. Cover and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Add walnuts and cinnamon. Let cool. Add fresh blueberries on top.

Makes 2 servings

Recipe provided by Lauren Kelly Nutritionist


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