What is Quinoa & How Do I Cook It?

What Is Quinoa?

Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wah,” has been traced back to the ancient Aztecs who considered it a sacred energy source. They called it “The mother of all grains.”

It really isn’t a grain, quinoa is actually a seed of a leafy green plant related to spinach and swiss chard. But it does have some amazing qualities. Unlike grains, Quinoa is a complete source of protein. It is also full of iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin E.

This gluten-free, protein-packed, power-house is a great source of dietary fiber and can be digested easily. It rates low on the glycemic index compared to whole grains and contains 50 calories less per serving than brown rice.

There are many health benefits to adding quinoa to your diet including the fact that it:

  • Increases Energy
  • Aids Digestion
  • Is Gluten-Free
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Alternative Protein Source
  • Internal Cleanser
  • Relieves Migranes
  • Lowers Blood Sugar
  • Plant-Derived Calcium
  • Aids Weight Loss
  • Promotes Cardiovascular Health
  • Provides Antioxidant Support
  • Relaxes Blood Vessels
  • Reduces Risk Of Gallstones
  • Detoxifies The Body

Quinoa expands three times its size when cooked. It’s unique texture is fluffy and creamy, but the tail of the grain adds a crunch. It can be an easy alternative to couscous, pasta, rice. It has a sightly nutty flavor which can be enhanced by toasting it in a dry skillet.

Quinoa can be sprouted (like alfalfa sprouts) and added to salads and sandwiches or ground into flour to create breads and muffins. It can be served as breakfast; a side dish; added to casseroles, chili, soups, stews and stir-fries; or used in place of rice.

How Do I Cook Quinoa:

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Porridge
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 3/4 cup Quinoa
  • 1 Apple (peeled & cubed)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon (ground)
  • 1/8 or 1/4 tsp Nutmeg (fresh ground)
  • pinch Sea Salt
  • Agave
  • Bring water to a boil on high heat. Add quinoa, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Reduce heat to medium/medium-low, cover and continue cooking about 15 minutes. Turn heat off and let sit, covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Drizzle agave on top.

    Quinoa Tabouleh
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parsley (chopped)
  • 1/8 cup fresh Mint (chopped)
  • 2 Green Onions (chopped)
  • 16 Grape Tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 cup English Cucumbers (finely diced)
  • 1 clove Garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon (juiced)
  • 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • Pinch Pepper
  • Combine Quinoa with 1-3/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes (Do not over cook). Cool and set aside. Combine parsley, mint, green onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic and quinoa. Stir in olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, sea salt and pepper. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight before serving.

    I originally heard about quinoa several years ago. I even bought some thinking that I would try it. I never did because I didn’t know what to do with it. That package sat in my cupboard for over a year before I finally got up enough courage to try it. Now it is one of my favorite ingredients and my body always seems to be thanking me for eating it. I hope these recipes inspire you to try it too.

    It is no surprise that vegetarians, vegans and people with gluten-sensitives all are huge fans of this amazing little seed. Maybe with a little more exposure it will gain raving fans among the masses.

    I am dedicated to supporting you in your journey towards a healthy lifestyle, please Contact Me for more information about healthy ingredients, healthy recipes or other ways I can help you in your journey.

    You can find previous We Be Healthy Blog articles HERE.

    I have other great recipes in my cookbook HERE that use healthy ingredients like quinoa. The cookbook includes a recipe for Mexican Quinoa Salad that is a fan favorite.

    P.S. Schedule your FREE 15 Minute Strategy Session
    with me to get a starting point and actionable steps to begin your journey to Be Healthy HERE!

    Be Healthy,


    About Heather Lentz

    Your Journey Begins Here…We Be Healthy supports you in your journey towards a healthy lifestyle through Low-Glycemic Cooking (& Eating), High Quality Nutritional Supplements, Jumpstart 5-Day Carb Cleanse, Healthy Energy Drinks, Preservative-Free Skin Care, Reducing Your Toxic Load and Creating a Healthy Home. Although I am still on my healing journey, I am now taking others along with me.
    This entry was posted in HealthyEating, HealthyRecipes, We Be Healthy Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

    10 Responses to What is Quinoa & How Do I Cook It?

    1. YUM-ee! Apple Quinoa Porridge – sign me up! I made ginger coconut quinoa last night and it was super yum so am excited to flare it up again with your recipe. And I didn’t know I could dry roast it in a skillet pan for a nutty flavor – thanks for the facts + tips!

    2. Erika says:

      This is great! I am always on the look-out for new healthy things to eat and I have seen Quinoa at the grocery store but never knew what to do with it. Now I know! Thanks 🙂

    3. Sarah Yost says:


      I don’t really like Quinoa. I prefer brown rice and farro.

      But I do like the looks of that porridge recipe.

      And I do like the idea of toasting it first.

      And my husband likes it. So I’ll try it again. 🙂

    4. Yvette says:

      I must admit, not the biggest fan of Quinoa mostly becuase I don’t know what to do with it…LOL But your recipes look good, perhaps I’ll give it another try one of these days. Great post!!

      • Thanks for the comments Yvette. Give it another try. I have you a couple of suggested recipes and there are many more online. Maybe when you find the right one you will realize that you like quinoa. 😉

    5. Heather this is great! I think I could even get my KIDS to eat it! Our whole family are rediscovering cooking together, eating great food and spending quality time over healthy meals. These recipes change the perception that healthy is not fantasticaly delish! YUM!

    Leave a Reply to Heather Lentz Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *