Quinoa Chipotle

I know…I know….You have probably never heard of this grain before. I first learned of quinoa (kēenwä‘), when researching all of the gluten-free flours on the market. I bought the flour and never really made much with it at the time.

Recently, my neighbor and good friend, Melissa asked me to grab her some while I was at the health food store. She was making it in the place of rice in butternut squash dish. As with anything, I always have to google and read up on it.

Incas, held the crop to be sacred. It was referred to as “mother of all grains”. Quinoa was of great nutritional importance to the Incas. Pre-Columbian Andean civilization held quinoa only second to the potato as a staple crop.

The reason for it’s importance to these cultures? It is a superfood full of vitamins and minerals. Quinoa is a fantastic source of magnesium, copper and phosphorous. (Great for those suffering from diabetes and migraine headaches…) The protein in quinoa is high at 12%-18%. L-Lysine (not common in grains and carbohydrates) helps with calcium absorption, building muscle protein, and the body’s production of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. Quinoa is also rare in the fact that it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, meaning it is a complete protein, not common non-meat foods. Adding to the already amazing list of benefits is dietary fiber and iron. It is also of course, gluten-free!! Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights. (1)

So after all the good things I found out about this wonderful grain, the recipe Quinoa Chipotle was born. I got great reviews from Kenzie and Chris, so now I will try to swap out my rice dishes with quinoa as much as possible.


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 (15 ounce) can corn kernels or frozen corn
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon lime

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the
onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with chicken broth. Season
with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a
boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
3. Stir corn and beans into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about
5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the cilantro and lime juice.Serve as a main dish or side. Makes about three servings as a meal.





(1)a b Greg Schlick and David L. Bubenheim (November 1993). “Quinoa: An Emerging “New” Crop with Potential for CELSS (NASA Technical Paper 3422)” (PDF). http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19940015664_1994015664.pdf


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa
    Nov 06, 2010 @ 00:10:17

    It sounds delicious! I will try this recipe soon. My squash quinoa dish turned out well too. Next time I’ll make extra for you.

    Jeremiah pointed out the calorie difference is huge (600 calories in 1 cup of quinoa vs 200 in brown rice or 120 for white rice), but the nutrient difference is just as big. Calcium: Quinoa has 80mg, Brown rice only has 20, white rice has 6. Fiber: Quina has 12 mg, Brown 3.5, White 0.6. Iron: Quinoa has 7.7mg, brown rice 1, white rice 2.7 (enriched). It’s worth the extra calories!


  2. Melissa
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 22:16:36

    Nevermind, the amount of calories is very similar. Jeremiah and I both had used the numbers for uncooked quinoa (more fits in a cup before it’s cooked). All my numbers are wrong. It’s still an awesome source of protein and calcium though!

    I think we may try to grow it next year!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: