Quinoa? Keen-WHAT? You’ve probably seen plenty of these Peruvian seeds on supermarket shelves in recent years. The superfood is exploding in popularity: The U.S. imported 14.2 million pounds of the gluten-free “grain” just last year. It lives up to the hype, too. Substituting quinoa for rice bumps up protein count while boosting fiber and keeping carbs in check. Plus, its versatility makes it easy to add into a variety of dishes. Try any of these eight hearty quinoa recipes for a satisfying dish you won’t forget.
1. Corn, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad
Thanks to protein-packed black beans, corn and red bell pepper, this Mexican-inspired mix of ingredients is as nutritious as it is colorful. Be sure to chill the salad in the fridge for at least an hour before serving so the light vinaigrette dressing seeps in to deepen flavor.
2. Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes
If gluten is off the table for you or a friend, try these delectable baked patties at your next get-together. Half a pound of cooked kale boosts the amount of vitamin C, vitamin A and calcium, but it won’t leave a bitter taste in your mouth thanks to the mild flavor of sweet potato.
3. Persimmon-Pomegranate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Turn to this beyond basic breakfast recipe when plain oatmeal just isn’t cutting it anymore. For a creamy treat, mix coconut milk or another non-dairy milk into cooked quinoa, then top it with your favorite fruit and nuts. It will keep you satiated until lunch.
4. Spinach and Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes
Make a tasty meal out of fresh summer tomatoes by filling them with garlicky spinach, salty olives and tangy feta. Each prepared fruit (yes, tomatoes are a fruit) clocks in at less than 150 calories and still packs roughly four grams of fiber.
5. Kale and Quinoa Superfood Salad
Want to brighten up nutrient-dense greens and quinoa? Top them with a drizzle of tart lemon vinaigrette. High in fiber and vitamin A, mango provides a sweet complement to creamy avocado and bitter kale.
6. Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Kale Tacos
Ready in 30 minutes or less, these easy-to-assemble tacos, packed with kale, quinoa and sweet potato, are sure to please any crowd. Instead of cheese, top them with sliced avocado to add on some heart-healthy fats and fiber.
7. Sweet and Savory Quinoa Oatmeal
Bring on the fiber! The steel-cut oats in this quinoa-oatmeal hybrid are low on the Glycemic Index and make it incredibly hearty. Sprinkle on pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) for an extra dose of magnesium.
8. Quinoa Shrimp Spring Roll
Skip calorie-bomb Thai takeout and make these Asian-inspired appetizers instead. Each serving has 7.5 grams of protein! The creamy sriracha peanut dip sauce will give the dish an added kick of spice!