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24 Simple and Easy Quinoa Recipes

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Quinoa is often called a “superfood,” but you can think of it as a hard-working everyday staple for your healthy recipes.

Quinoa (say it “keen-wah”) is considered a whole grain, although it’s technically a seed. Like other SmartCarbs, it’s high in fiber and low in calories. According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a half-cup serving also fuels you up with four grams of protein—in fact, it’s one of the few plant foods that’s a “complete” protein, including all nine essential amino acids.1

Quinoa has a chewy texture and a lightly nutty flavor that blends well with many other ingredients. It comes in different colors, including red, white, yellow and even black.

Quinoa is the perfect swap for rice in your recipes. However, it’s so versatile that we keep discovering new ways to enjoy it! We’ve gathered this list of two dozen fresh recipes for putting quinoa to work for you, from breakfast to dinner and everything in between.

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1. One-Pan Vegetarian Mexican Quinoa >

One-Pan Vegetarian Mexican Quinoa

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb, 3 Extras and ½ Vegetable

Mexican flavors light up all of our taste buds, turning any meal into a fiesta. This simple dish features zesty onions, spicy jalapenos, tangy tomatoes and creamy avocado, blended with fiber-rich beans, chunks of veggie burger and a filling serving of quinoa. Bonus: When you’re done making the meal, you have just one pan to clean!

2. Roasted Jalapeno Quinoa and Chickpea Salad >

Roasted Jalapeno Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 2 Extras and ½ Vegetable

Roasting seasoned chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) crisps them up and infuses them with flavor. Mix them with chopped peppers—both sweet and spicy—cubes of avocado, onions, spices and a cup of quinoa to make a satisfying salad. Each batch is four servings—you can keep the extras in your fridge and bring one along wherever your day takes you.

3. Blueberry Quinoa Salad >

Blueberry Quinoa Salad

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 2 Extras

If you’re tired of the same old salad, try this flavorful combo. It blends the flavors of juicy berries, zesty arugula, tangy goat cheese, sweet corn and sunny lemon vinaigrette dressing with a filling base of hearty quinoa. This dish is a taste of summer you’ll enjoy any time of year.

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4. 4-Ingredient Quinoa Chocolate Bars >

4-Ingredient Quinoa Chocolate Bars

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb

Who knew this list of quinoa recipes would feature chocolate bars? You can have a chewy chocolate bar and stay on track with your healthy eating plan when you make this super-simple version. After lightly “popping” the quinoa to bring out its toasty flavor (yes, you can pop quinoa!), you stir it into a warm blend of real cocoa powder, natural sweetener and coconut oil. Pour it all into a pan and refrigerate, then cut into bars and dig in.

5. Black Bean Pumpkin Quinoa Soup >

Black Bean Pumpkin Quinoa Soup

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel

Creamy pumpkin soup, fragrant with spices, warms you up from the inside out. With hearty beans, plenty of quinoa and a dollop of cheese, this version will keep you feeling full for hours.

6. Fig Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette >

Fig Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb, 3 Extras and 3 Vegetables

Figs are naturally sweet, loaded with nutrients and packed with fiber. They perfectly complement the diverse tastes and textures of kale and arugula, red onion and quinoa. Add creamy cheese and our flavorful vinaigrette to create a salad that satisfies like a whole meal.

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7. Italian Chicken Casserole >

Italian Chicken Casserole

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb and 1 Vegetable

Here’s a Flex meal that’s sure to please everyone around the table. It comes with chunks of high-protein chicken breast, tangy tomatoes, zesty onions, tender cauliflower florets and fiber-rich quinoa. Melt mozzarella cheese on top and dinner is ready to serve.

8. Watermelon Summer Salad with Quinoa >

Watermelon Summer Salad with Quinoa

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 1 PowerFuel

Sweltering days call for light dishes that fill you up but don’t weigh you down. This refreshing salad features juicy, sweet watermelon and strawberries, crunchy almonds, crumbly feta cheese and quinoa that holds it all together. The recipe makes two servings, so you have one to share or to save for another day.

9. Hawaiian Honey Ham and Quinoa Salad >

Hawaiian Honey Ham and Quinoa Salad

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 2 PowerFuels, 1 SmartCarb and 3 Extras

Treat yourself and your family to a taste of the tropics with a meal that’s flavored with real pineapple. Meat lovers will be pleased with the slices of cooked ham and everyone will enjoy digging into the sweet grain salad that includes raisins and carrots, along with the nutty quinoa.

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10. Instant Pot Breakfast Cereal >

Instant Pot Breakfast Cereal

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb and 1 Extra

Take your everyday oatmeal to the next level by adding quinoa and seasoning it all with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and naturally sweet maple syrup. Mix in apple pieces and crunchy chia seeds to add more flavor and texture. Best of all, this hot breakfast recipe cooks in minutes in the Instant Pot, so you can enjoy it on even the busiest of mornings.

11. Sweet and Salty Quinoa Granola Bars >

Sweet and Salty Quinoa Granola Bars

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel

When you’re ready for a snack that fuels you up and tempts your taste buds, whip up a batch of these simple granola bars. They’re made with just six basic ingredients, including creamy peanut butter, roasted peanut pieces and sweet honey. The recipe makes 10 bars, so you can keep them on hand to enjoy whenever hunger strikes.

12. Quinoa Cucumber Salad >

Quinoa Cucumber Salad

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1½ Vegetables, 2½ Extras

The best quinoa salad recipes offer you a delightful blend of complementary tastes and textures. In this easy dish, we combined chewy quinoa with juicy cucumbers, along with red onion and fresh herbs such as mint and parsley. It’s filling enough to be a whole lunch but also works as a side to your favorite PowerFuel at dinner.

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13. PB&J Quinoa Cups >

PB&J Quinoa Cups

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra

Here’s a treat that will satisfy a craving for sweets and nourish you with real food ingredients at the same time. Popped quinoa is the light and fluffy base to which you add rich peanut butter, vanilla, natural sweetener and your favorite berries. Chill the cups in the freezer and they’re ready to eat.

14. Quinoa Crusted Chicken >

Quinoa Crusted Chicken

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 2 PowerFuels and ½ SmartCarb

If you’re a fan of fried chicken, try this healthier option that’s just as satisfying. The coating is made with high-fiber quinoa instead of breadcrumbs, but the chicken still comes out crispy on the outside yet juicy and tender on the inside. Plus, it bakes in the oven so there’s none of the greasy mess or excessive fat you get when frying chicken.

15. Salmon Tahini Power Bowl >

Salmon Tahini Power Bowl

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 2 PowerFuels, 1 Vegetable and 2 Extras

Power bowl recipes are all the rage because they bring together all the elements of a healthy meal into one simple dish. This version starts with a base of quinoa and includes super-nutritious kale, fiber-rich chickpeas and tender baked salmon, a PowerFuel that will keep you energized for hours. The simple tahini dressing provides the flavorful finish.

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16. Veggie Quinoa Breakfast Bake >

Veggie Quinoa Breakfast Bake

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb and 1 Vegetable

Break up your breakfast routine with this hearty bake. It’s made with cottage cheese and egg whites, tomatoes, onions, spinach and mushrooms, so every forkful comes with a variety of tastes and textures. It’s so filling you won’t think about eating again until lunchtime.

17. Teriyaki Chicken Sushi Burrito >

Teriyaki Chicken Sushi Burrito

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras

This mash-up of cuisines features several favorite ingredients in one satisfying meal. In place of the plain old white flour tortilla, you start with nori, the classic sushi-roll wrapper. It’s filled with shredded chicken, quinoa (instead of white rice), avocado slices and asparagus pieces, all seasoned with sweet-and-tangy teriyaki sauce.

18. Italian Vegetable Quinoa Bake >

Italian Vegetable Quinoa Bake

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 1 PowerFuel

If you think all Italian food is heavy and loaded with excess calories, this dish is sure to change your mind. It has everything you love, like mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and fresh basil, but it also includes veggies like cauliflower and zucchini, and quinoa to fill you up without weighing you down. Each serving has less than 200 calories.

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19. Slow Cooker Quinoa Carrot Breakfast Bowl >

Slow Cooker Quinoa Carrot Breakfast Bowl

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 Smart Carb and 1 PowerFuel

On those days when you need a hearty breakfast to fuel a hectic morning, put the slow cooker to work by making this belly-filling dish. Just add the ingredients, including quinoa, shredded carrots and zucchini, coconut, almond milk and sweet spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. You get six servings, so you can store the extra in your fridge or freezer for other busy days.

20. Beetroot and Quinoa Superfood Salad >

Beetroot and Quinoa Superfood Salad

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 2 Vegetables and 1 Extra

Want to turbocharge your daily diet with quinoa recipes? This super-nutritious dish powers you up with three potent ingredients—beets, kale and quinoa. But the best part is the taste, with the naturally sweet beets contrasting with the earthy flavor of crunchy kale and the nuttiness of quinoa. Creamy feta cheese and a simple but tasty dressing tie it all together.

21. Healthy Edamame Quinoa Burgers >

Healthy Edamame Quinoa Burgers

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb and 1 PowerFuel

Veggie burgers are a great alternative to fatty meat patties, but many store-bought varieties can come with unwelcome fillers and empty calories. With this recipe and cooked quinoa, it’s easy to make your own burgers. We added edamame, the high-protein soybean variety, and savory seasonings, so they’re sure to hit the spot.

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22. Veggie Power Bowl >

Veggie Power Bowl

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb, 2 Vegetables and 2 Extras

Whether you’re trying to eat more meatless meals or just want to get more non-starchy veggies into your daily diet, this dish will satisfy your hunger and your taste buds. Along with quinoa, it has slices of zesty red onions, sweet peppers, butternut squash and crunchy pumpkin seeds.

23. Green Goddess Salad >

Green Goddess Salad

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 2 Extras

Greens like Brussels sprouts and kale are some of the most nutrient-dense foods, meaning they’re loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, but low in calories. We paired them with protein-rich quinoa and edamame, along with sliced almonds and shaved Parmesan cheese, to build a salad that’s as delicious as it is nutritious.

24. 4-Step Chicken Parm Soup >

4-Step Chicken Parm Soup

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 2 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb and 1 Vegetable

When you’re craving the flavors of classic Chicken Parm and the warming power of soup, you’re ready for one of our favorite meals. You get everything you love, including chunks of tender chicken breast, tomatoes, garlic, onions and plenty of melted mozzarella cheese. It all comes together in four easy steps and one pot.

No time to make one of these easy quinoa recipes?

No problem! Nutrisystem delivers delicious meals and snacks that feature this superfood seed. Check them out below!:

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Sources:

  1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/quinoa/

The post 24 Simple and Easy Quinoa Recipes appeared first on The Leaf.


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