5 tips and recipes to enjoy quinoa

What do you know about quinoa, other than people think it’s a grain and don’t know how to pronounce it? Here are five facts about this super food:

1. It is not a grain at all: it is a relative of the protein-rich plant family that includes beetroot and spinach and the part we eat is the seed.

2. It’s good source of protein: it contains all nine essential amino acids, which cannot be made by the body. It is also a good source of iron, fibre, magnesium and B-vitamins.

3. Funny pronunciation: it is not said kwi-noy-a, the correct pronunciation is keen-wah.

4. It needs a rinse: the crop protects itself with a waxy, bitter-tasting coat. Most package quinoa is already rinsed but it still is a good idea to repeat the rinse before enjoying.

5. Readily available: quinoa is now available on many supermarket shelves, it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you are ready to eat – just add the toppings of your choice!

However you pronounce it, it lends itself to an incredible variety of sweet and savoury dishes, which are light on the waistline and therefore a super-food for summer. The following recipes all use Tipiak Quinoa Gourmand, a blend of pure quinoa and bulghur wheat.

Quinoa recipe

Mixed berry with coconut, goji berries and mint, on quinoa and granola

Serves: 2 Preparation time: 20 minutes
Ingredients: 2 portions Tipiak Quinoa Gourmand, cooked according to pack instructions
2ml cinnamon
10ml honey
5ml coconut oil or melted butter
125ml granola
Small handful each of blue berries, raspberries, fresh goji berries and shaved coconut
5 sprigs fresh mint

Method: Once the quinoa is cooked according to pack instructions, mix in the cinnamon, honey and butter.
Add the granola and toss together. Place into two bowls and arrange the blueberries, raspberries, shaved coconut, mint and goji berries on top.

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Fresh fig, roasted nut and cranberry with honey yoghurt

Serves: 2 Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ingredients: 2 portions Tipiak Quinoa Gourmand, cooked according to pack instructions
2ml mixed spice
10ml honey
5ml butter
50ml plain yoghurt
1 fresh fig, cut into wedges
small handful each of shaved coconut, cranberries and roasted mixed nuts
fresh mint
125ml plain yoghurt
15ml honey

Method: Once the quinoa is cooked according to pack instructions, add the mixed spice, honey, butter and yoghurt, toss together until well combined. Divide the mixture into two bowls and arrange the fig, coconut, cranberries and nuts on top. Add the fresh mint and serve it with a bowl of plain yoghurt and honey.

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Poached egg with smoked chicken, aioli, micro herbs and chopped almonds.

Serves: 1

Ingredients: 1 portion Tipiak Quinoa Gourmand, cooked according to pack instructions
5ml butter
5ml lime zest
10ml lime juice
1 large handful micro herbs
1 smoked chicken breast, sliced
1 egg, poached
50ml aoli
1 small handful chopped almonds

Method: Once the quinoa is cooked, add the butter, lime zest and lime juice. Toss the micro herbs into the quinoa and place in a serving bowl. Arrange the chicken slices, egg, aioli and almonds on top. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Carrot and sesame falafel with kale

Serves: 2 Preparation time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: 2 portions Tipiak Quinoa Gourmand, cooked according to pack instructions
10ml coconut oil
5ml lemon zest
2ml ground coriander
1 handful micro herbs
1 can chickpeas
1 large carrot, steamed
1 small onion, finely chopped
15ml sesame seeds
20ml tahini
5ml ground coriander
2ml ground cumin
45ml flour
Sesame seeds to coat
Oil to fry
2 handfuls kale
Lemon wedges and chopped nuts to serve

Method: Once the quinoa is cooked, add the coconut oil, zest and coriander, toss in the micro herbs. In a food processor, blitz the chickpeas, carrot, onion, sesame seeds, tahini, spices and flour. Season with salt and pepper, process until well combined and smooth. Roll the mixture into balls, coat with sesame seeds and fry on all sides until golden, once cooked place onto absorbent kitchen towelling, to drain. Arrange the falafels, kale, lemon wedges and nuts onto the quinoa and micro herbs.

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Slow roasted tomato and marinated ostrich

Serves: 2 Preparation time: 1 hour

Ingredients: 2 portions Tipiak Quinoa Gourmand, cooked according to pack instructions
10ml butter
5ml lemon zest
10ml lemon juice
12 Heirloom mini tomatoes
Olive oil to drizzle
2 ostrich steaks
15ml olive oil
5ml brown sugar
2ml chilli powder
1 handful kale
1 handful sprouts

Method: once the quinoa is cooked, add the butter, zest and lemon juice. Place into two bowls. Place the tomatoes into the oven and slow roast until done to your liking. Mix the olive oil, sugar and chilli powder, allow the ostrich steak to marinate for 30 minutes. Fry the ostrich until done to your liking, allow to rest for a couple minutes and then slice. Arrange the ostrich, and tomatoes onto the quinoa and serve with kale and sprouts.
Enjoy!

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