1 Dish 2 Spoons: Quinoa

28 Jan

Odds are good that you probably have some Quinoa kicking around your kitchen.  No?  Well maybe it’s time to add it to your pantry staples, along with rice, oatmeal, and beans.  Quinoa is such an incredible versatile grain – you can make it savory, sweet, use it in soups, stir fry’s, in baking…. the possibilities are endless!  Here are two examples:

Tess’ Take

When I think of quinoa, two basic meals come to mind: dinner and breakfast.  A spicy quinoa salad is nice at dinnertime, and for breakfast you can use it in lieu of your morning oats.  But I wanted to do something a bit different today.  So I went ahead and Googled “banana quinoa” (don’t ask me why the banana), and by the magic of internet, I found this recipe for Banana Strawberry Quinoa Muffins within seconds of searching.

I changed the recipe a bit from the one on the above website – I re-added the one egg she had omitted, switched the vegetable oil for EVOO, exchanged the yogurt for low-fat sour cream (I’ve always wanted to try that!), and swapped the brown sugar with Sucanat (an unrefined brown cane sugar which retains a molasses flavor.  It’s definitely not “good for you” as it’s still sugar, but it is less processed).

Banana Strawberry Quinoa Muffins


1/4 cup quinoa

1/2 cup water

1 cup whole wheat flour (or, if you really want to get into the quinoa thing, you could search your local Health Food Store for quinoa flour)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg (not pictured, as I decided to use it at the last minute)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup sour cream (or yogurt)

1 1/4 cup mashed banana

1 cup chopped fresh strawberries


1) Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.

2) Cook quinoa in water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 mins.  Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 more minutes.  Fluff with a fork when finished.

3) Meanwhile, mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl.

4) Mix sucanat, egg, and oil in a separate large bowl.  Add vanilla, sour cream, and bananas.

5) By now your quinoa should be done, so add that to the flour mixture.  Now add in the strawberries.

6) Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients.  Do not over mix.

7) Spoon the muffin mixture into muffin tins.  I found a 1/4 c measuring cup worked perfectly.

Be sure to save a bit of mix on the bowl so you can scoop it out and EAT IT!

8) Bake 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick or spaghetti noodle inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

9) Let cool for as long as you can stand it, then enjoy!


Wow, talk about MOIST!  I think you could probably omit the egg after all, but I loved how gooey these guys turned out!  They could easily do double-duty as both snacks and desserts.  Or, if you don’t mind some sugar in the morning, breakfast too.


Jess’ Take

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient grain packed with nutrients.

Check this label out: **Note: due to technical difficulties, Jess was unable to post any pictures for this week’s entry.  Sorry folks, you’ll just have to use your imaginations!**


So when Tess and I decided to use this awesome nutrient-dense grain as the focus for our 1 Dish 2 Spoons segment I knew I had to make something to do it justice.

There are quite a few quinoa patty recipes floating around the blogosphere but I wanted to put my own personal spin on it- and use up some ingredients I had hanging out in my fridge.

I made use of a flax-seed egg as my binder in this one, but feel free to use an egg or an egg-replacer if you’ve got some.  It should also be noted that quinoa is in fact gluten free so this is a great option for those on a gluten-free diet in search of a veggie burger patty.

If you’re making these in the summer months, grated zucchini would be a great addition as well.


½ c. dried quinoa

1 c. vegetable broth

2 medium sized carrots, grated

½ onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic minced

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Dash of cayenne pepper, optional

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

3 tbsp water

Easy Guacamole

1 Ripe Avocado

1 Lime, zested and juiced

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste


In a small bowl, combine flax and water, whisk to combine and set aside.

Bring your vegetable stock and quinoa to a boil in a small sauce pan, cover and reduce heat.  Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed, remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat sauté onion, garlic and grated peppers.  Season with paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper and then add in your tomato paste.  Let the mixture cook through for 3-5 minutes then remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl, combine quinoa, carrot mixture and flax-egg.  Mix well then form into 4-6 patties (this will be easier if your hands are wet)

In the same skillet as before, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil over medium high heat.  Going 1 or 2 patties at a time, brown each side for 2-3 minutes to get a crusty exterior.  Pat dry with a paper towel and repeat until you’ve done this with all the patties.

Place them on a baking sheet and bake 400 for approximately 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

While these are baking, cut avocado in half, remove pit and empty the flesh into a small bowl, combine with lime juice, zest, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper.

Tip: use a pastry cutter or potato masher, to get it all mashed up nice and evenly.

Remove the patties from the oven, top with Guacomole and salsa.



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