Quinoa is a fabulous and delicious, versatile, gluten-free grain. Being nutrient dense and full of protein and fiber, it has become a staple element for anyone focused on whole foods and plant-based eating. It can be flavored any way you desire, so you can use it anyplace you’d normally use rice or couscous, including for breakfast! Here are two yummy, simple ways to enjoy quinoa. 1. Breakfast Quinoa bowl, with green beans, hummus, and fried egg. 2. Quinoa Sausage Kale Bowls.
Let’s start with cooking quinoa. I love to cook up a big batch at the beginning of the week and incorporate it into various dishes during the week like wraps, salads, etc. This recipe makes enough quinoa to make both recipes plus one serving (3 cups total). One serving is 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, but if it’s the main protein source of your dish you may want to up the amount to 1 cup.
Servings: 6 (1/2 cup) | Easy | Make Ahead | Cook time: 15 minutes
Calories: 111 | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Carbohydrates: 19g | Fiber: 3g
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups liquid (stock or water)
- pinch salt
Place the liquid in a medium sauce pan, covered over high heat. Bring to a boil. Add the pinch of salt and quinoa. Turn to low heat, cover and cook until liquid has absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately, or keep covered in the fridge up to one week.
- Add dried herb/spices when you add the stock to the pot, or fresh herbs when cooking ends.
- Saute a little minced garlic, onion or shallot in 1/2 tbsp oil before adding the stock
- Finish off with fresh herbs and citrus zest (like lemon/basil or orange/rosemary)
- Add some veggies for pilaf style: mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots etc. all work great.
Ok now that we have quinoa, it’s time to play! We’ll begin with breakfast. Quinoa can be flavored sweetly with brown sugar and berries, or more savory as with this recipe. I used some steamed green beans and hummus, but you can mix up this dish a thousand ways, with different veggies and spices. Start with this combo and then have fun with it and try your own combinations.
Savory Farmhouse Breakfast Bowl
Servings: 2 | Easy | Make Ahead | Cook time: 3 – 15min.
Calories: 251 | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Carbohydrates: 29g
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 fried eggs
- 2 cups steamed green beans
- 4 tbsp hummus (I used Cucumber Dill Jalapeno Hummus)
- 2 tbsp fresh dill
- 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper – or as much as you like)
- Generous dash or two of hot sauce (optional)
Use fresh cooked, warm quinoa (see above), or reheat your quinoa. I usually microwave, loosely covered on high for 1.5 minutes. Stir and give it another minute. Divide into bowls, (1/2 cup each).
Steam green beans. Trim off ends of beans. Place a vegetable steamer and 1 inch of water in a pot and cover over high heat until water is boiling. Add green beans and cover 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from steamer. Add to bowl with quinoa. If you’re making these a few days ahead, take them from the stovetop direct to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process. Then drain water and store covered in the fridge up to a week. You can microwave them 1 min. for this dish or add them cold.
Fry two eggs. Heat a non-stick sauté pan to medium high. If you don’t have non-stick, add 1/2 tsp olive or avocado oil (or spay) to the pan. Crack eggs into the pan. Let cook 2 minutes until egg white is no longer translucent. For overeasy eggs, turn of the heat, flip eggs and let sit in the pan for 10 seconds. If you want the yolk cooked, keep heat on and let cook 2 minutes on the other side.
Place egg on top of the quinoa and beans in the bowl. Add 2 tbsp of hummus to each and 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill. Add the cracked pepper and hot sauce and dive on it to breakfast bowl bliss!
- Veggie swap zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, kale, spinach…seriously, anything you like
- Try basil, parsley, thyme, cilantro instead of dill
- Make it even more hearty with sausage or bacon (vegan version yummy here too!)
- Make it vegan, swap the egg for Just Egg scrambled or some crispy tofu.
- Change out the hummus for guacamole, plain yogurt, or a creamy goddess dressing.
Quinoa Sausage Kale Bowls
These bowls are perfect for meal prep or a quick, satisfying weeknight dinner. Again, look at this combo of flavor elements as a template. You can let your imagination go wild with veggies, proteins, seasoning etc.
Servings: 2 | Easy | Meal Prep/Make Ahead| Prep time: 5 min. | Cook time: 20 min. (10 if quinoa pre-made)
Calories: 436 | Protein: 23g | Fat: 14g | Carbohydrates: 59g | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g
Vitamin A: 43% | Vitamin C: 290% | Iron 30% | Calcium 24 %
- 1.5 cups cooked (or ¾ cup dry and 1.5 cups water or stock) quinoa
- 2 sausage links (vegan or chicken base)
- 8 oz fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- ¼ cup stock or water
- 4 cup lacinato kale, rough chopped
- 10 -12 grape tomatoes
- 2 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
- ¾ cup fresh zucchini, sliced
- ½ avocado
- 3 tbsp fresh dill
- 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil, divided
Cook quinoa. Use ¾ cup dry and 1.5 cup water or stock. Bring liquid to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer until liquid is absorbed (15 – 20 min). You can do this up to a week ahead of time.
Heat a medium – large pan over medium high head. Slice the sausages and add them to the pan with ½ the oil. Let them brown and cook through. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, add the rest of the oil, followed by the mushrooms, zucchini, and scallions. Let cook a minute, then add the kale, tomatoes and stock. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Cook until liquid is absorbed and kale is wilted down.
While sauteing, heat 1 cup of water in a large pot with a steamer basket to boil. Add green beans, cover, and let steam for 3 – 5 minutes until bright green. Remove from pan. Cut in ½ if desired.
Assemble Bowls. Add ½ the quinoa (¾ cup cooked ) to each bowl. Place ½ the kale mix next to it. Top with green beans and sausage. Slice the avocado into thin wedges and place on top. Sprinkle with the fresh dill and more scallions if desired.
Optional topper that is yummy – Curried Dill Sauce, or hummus, or hot sauce.
Notes and Variations
- Make the whole dish ahead and keep in the fridge up to 4 days. Can heat up or have cold. Add avocado and any dressing/toppers right before serving
- Trade the sausage for crispy or raw tofu, chicken, shrimp, tempeh or beans.
- Trade the quinoa for wild or brown rice, millet, couscous, or just double the greens.
- Swap the veggies for any of your favorites – cauliflower, asparagus, eggplant, bell peppers, broccoli, sweet potato, anything you love will taste yummy in this bowl.
- New flavor profile – use different fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, or thyme. Add fresh minced garlic to the greens mix.
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