Once a little-known South American grain, quinoa is now a fully-fledged superfood. Eaten hot or cold, quinoa packs in twice as much fibre as any other grain, and is full of iron, magnesium and amino acids.
While quinoa is a great option if you want to feel fuller for longer, the truth is it can taste fairly bland when eaten by itself.
If you're sick of simply adding quinoa to your lunchtime salads, fear not, as there are so many different ways to use this extremely versatile grain.
Here are just a few…
1. As a risotto
Quinotto is just as creamy and delicious as a standard risotto, but the usual Arborio rice is replaced by, you've guessed it, quinoa. Sauté the uncooked quinoa with some onions and oil before adding veggie stock one ladle at a time, allowing the liquid to absorb before adding more. Try adding frozen peas, mint, smoked salmon and creme fraiche for a totally decadent dinner!
2. In veggie burgers
A spoon or two of cooked quinoa will go a long way to bulking up a veggie burger and doubling its fibre content. Simply add cooked quinoa to your burger mix before frying, grilling or baking them.
3. As a crispy coating, instead of breadcrumbs
Rather than coating chicken, prawns or any other meat in breadcrumbs, use uncooked quinoa instead. Dip your meat in a flour and salt mixture with the spices of your choice, then dip it again into a beaten egg mix, and finally dip it into the quinoa before frying on either side or a few minutes. Delicious! For a gorgeous looking meal, use red and black quinoa together as your coating.
4. In homemade muffins
Quinoa is a great ingredient in sweeter foods too. Add some cooked quinoa to your muffin mix instead of oats to add texture and keep you satisfied all morning.
5. To bulk up soups
If you're a fan of soup but find you always need a few slices of bread on the side to fill you up, try adding a few spoonfuls of cooked quinoa to the bowl instead. If you're making soup from scratch, add the quinoa around five minutes before the end of the cooking time. If you're eating an instant soup, simply add the quinoa about halfway through the heating time.