Posted by: Budger | April 11, 2010

Experiments with Quinoa

Two months ago, Quinoa was something I had only heard of on cooking shows.  I had never seen it, cooked it or eaten it.  But once I became Gluten Free, Quinoa was identified as a “grain” that I could eat.  My first taste was with a Quinoa Greek Salad that I picked up at Costco.  It was pretty good.  Since then I have been looking at recipes for Quinoa but have been somewhat intimidated.  Yesterday was my birthday, and on Friday a group from work took me to lunch.  Apparently I didn’t adequately quiz the waiter about how the Creamed Spinach was prepared because I spent my birthday in misery wishing that I had never heard of Celiac Disease, Gluten and most of all Creamed Spinach.  Today was the day to get my lunches planned for the week, and I decided it was time to tackle Quinoa.  No need to be afraid right?????  After all, it couldn’t be any worse than how I felt yesterday. 

Quinoa is a grain like substance with edible seeds.  Once cooked it takes on a similar consistency to rice.  I searched for various ideas for Quinoa, and finally after reading at least a half-dozen recipes, I made up one of my own.  I’m calling it a Tex Mex Black Bean Quinoa.  It came out pretty good, and I used it to stuff a Poblano Pepper, and I’m also going to use it to stuff an avocado.  So it wasn’t perfect.  I think it needs further refining, but for a first try, I was pleased.  Following is the recipe of what I did.

Tex Mex Black Bean Quinoa

  • 1 can drained black beans
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked Quinoa – this is approximate.
  • 1/2 diced red onion
  • 1  chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 large tomato chopped
  • 1 lime
  • salt, pepper to taste

Mix all ingredient except Quinoa and add squeezed lime.  Add Quinoa – I just kept spooning in Quinoa, until I thought I had a good blend.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

Here is what it looked like finished.

I then took some of this and stuffed it into a Poblano Pepper and baked it for approximately 25 minutes.   I had this with my dinner with some Monterey Jack Cheese and Ricotta cheese in the pepper.  It was really good as well.

Any suggestions on how to improve this are greatly appreciated.  In the meantime, Quinoa is now becoming a regular part of my diet, so this will not be my last attempt.  And I will be more diligent when eating out in restaurants.  The most interesting part of going Gluten Free is that I feel sicker now when I accidentally eat Gluten than I did when I ate it every day.  But everything I’ve read so far indicates that this is normal. 

Although I spent the day miserable with a belly ache, I did have a good birthday.  Unfortunately I didn’t get to go out and ride, but I did get lots of birthday wishes and greetings from family and friends.  And I am looking forward to the next year.  I know that it’s going to be a great one.  This is going to be a milestone year!



  1. Quinoa. Great stuff. Starred eating it when I was doing Weight Watchers. I usually cook it up with part of the water replaced with mild salsa. I then add more tomatoes, sun dried if I have them, add a little garlic, adobo, paprika, and salt. Add a little cheese and you have a great meal or side dish. Gonna try your recipe when I get a chance. Sounds pretty good.

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