Vegan Quinoa Recipes – not sure what to do with that bag of quinoa in your pantry? Cook it for breakfast, use it in salad for lunch, make burgers for dinner, or stuff some peppers with it! I've got all of your quinoa needs covered with these healthy vegan quinoa recipes – the best from my blog – that will cover all of your daily meals. They're all easy to make, and all of them have gluten-free options.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is an ancient grain from South America. Well, strictly speaking, it's not really a grain. It's actually seed that we prepare and eat like a grain, so it's technically a pseudo-cereal.
It's gluten-free, and it can be used in pretty much any recipe that calls for grains. I sometimes use it instead of rice, and I've been known to cook it for breakfast instead of oatmeal. It's terrific in Buddha bowls, and it makes a great filling for stuffed vegetables.
Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire, who referred to it as the "mother of all grains" and believed it to be sacred.
There are three main types of quinoa: red, white, and black. Unlike with rice, the different types of colored quinoa don't have different nutritional profiles. You can often find all three together in a mix.
When I was taking pictures for a recipe using quinoa a few months ago, we were having our house worked on. Aldo, the construction foreman was excited to see me cooking quinoa. He said he’s from Peru and quinoa is a staple food there. He told me that his grandmother was a widowed teacher with 5 children, and she didn’t have much money, so she worried about feeding her children. She would feed her quinoa to her chickens, and she noticed that it helped them to grow large pretty quickly. So she started feeding it to her kids, thinking it would help them grow, too – and it did!. Aldo is very tall, and he said he owes his height to all of the quinoa he ate growing up.
Health Benefits of Quinoa
Quinoa has the highest nutritional profile of all grains, making it extremely nutritious!
- It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it complete protein.
- B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E are plentiful in quinoa.
- The plant compounds quercetin and kaempferol, which are know to reduce inflammation, are also plentiful in quinoa.
- It has a higher fiber content than any other grain.
- The glycemic index of quinoa is low, so it's good for blood sugar control.
- Quinoa is gluten-free.
- It is an extremely high-energy grain, and it's an ideal food for endurance.
How to Cook Quinoa
Quinoa has a naturally occurring bitter outer coating called saponin. You should rinse your quinoa before cooking it to remove the saponin. I do this in a fine mesh strainer. You can also do it by placing quinoa in a pot and filling it with water and then placing the lid loosely on the pot and draining the water out over your sink.
Quinoa uses a 1:2 ratio with water, and one cup of dry will produce about 2 cups of cooked. So, if you need 2 cups of cooked quinoa, you’ll need 1 cup of dry quinoa and 2 cups of water.
- Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Then, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed.
- Nex remove it from the heat and let it stand for about 5 minutes.
- Fluff it with a fork, and you’re ready to go!
Whenever I cook grains like quinoa or brown rice, I like to make extra and freeze it, so it’s ready when I am. I almost always have a cooked bowl of quinoa on hand in the fridge or freezer.
Vegan Quinoa Recipes
Often, health coaching clients ask me for quinoa recipes. They'll say that they've had a bag of it in the back of the pantry for a while, and they're not sure what to do with. I always tell them that it can used in the place of any grain in a recipe. It actually has many uses. Here are some of the best vegan quinoa recipes from my blog:
Start your day with a quinoa breakfast bowl, and you’ll have the energy to make it to lunchtime without snacking!
This classic quinoa salad is a perfect light meal for warm spring days. It’s also perfect for summer potlucks and picnics!
This is one of my favorite summertime recipes. It’s always a hit at potlucks, and it’s perfect for picnics and cookouts.
Drizzled with spicy peanut dressing and loaded with fresh veggies, Thai Quinoa Salad is the ultimate quick and easy meal. This recipe is perfect for lunch on the go or a light dinner at home.
This vegan Super Quinoa Burger from The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet by Joni Marie Newman is super in many ways – it’s super easy to make, super delicious, and super nutritious!
This recipe from Vegan Meal Prep by JL Fields is a simple, yet flavorful. Easy to make, it can be served either hot or cold. It’s great for lunch on the go, and it also makes a delicious, light dinner.
This burrito bowl is loaded with baked tofu, savory quinoa, fresh veggies, and Chipotle Lime Dressing. It’s the perfect dinner for busy weeknights, and it makes a great lunch, too.
Stuffed peppers are easy to make, so they’re ideal for busy weeknights. They can be meal prepped ahead of time and frozen until dinnertime.
You don't need to wait until the holidays to make this deliciously comforting dish!
What's your favorite way to cook quinoa?