Recently I featured quinoa as one of my Effortless Additions and put together here a few simple ways that we enjoy it at our house. Quinoa is a complete protein so it’s a superstar for a plant based meal and it doesn’t have a strong flavour so most kids will eat it without issue.
I usually cook up 1-2 cups of dry quinoa and put it in a big bowl in the fridge and use it in some of our weekly meals and baking. If I have leftovers I usually freeze them to add to bake goods and will store it in the amount needed so I can just thaw what I need when I go to use it.
When you cook quinoa, follow the directions on the back of the package. Or alternatively you can make it in the instant pot (my preferred method). I follow the Instant Pot’s manual for directions.
Effortless Creation #1
My favourite way to eat quinoa is warm or cold on a salad. This is one of my favourite combinations:
Red leaf lettuce (I like the combination of a tender lettuce with quinoa)
Quinoa (1/2 cup cooked…or as much as you like)
Raw sunflower seeds
Balsamic Vinaigrette – I usually make this one or I will buy a flavoured balsamic such as raspberry or pomegranate – if you are local these can be found here in Sarnia at Pure Local Organics).
If I am out of lettuce, I just use extra quinoa and toss in the rest of the ingredients.
Effortless Creation #2
My oldest son just wasn’t a lettuce lover until recently, so I would serve him his quinoa on its own with veggies and dip on the side. So if I was throwing together the above salad he would get a bowl of quinoa and a side of carrots and cucumbers.
He likes his with either Tzakziki or the balsamic vinaigrette mentioned above.
This makes an excellent school lunched and is so simple to pack!
You can also serve all of the toppings on their own and let your kids create their own masterpieces. Getting them involved and letting them control what goes onto their plates helps to promote lifelong healthy eating habits.
Effortless Creation #3
This chilli recipe uses uncooked quinoa and is simple and budget friendly to make. I will often make some homemade tortilla chips to go along with this chilli for dipping (most children love dipping and can help with the prep of these chips).
Organic corn tortilla’s or brown rice wraps
Olive oil or avocado oil (amount depends on how many wraps you are using, I start with a couple tablespoons and add as needed)
Heat oven to 350 C.
Brush top and bottom of first tortilla with oil, place on plate and put the next tortilla on top, brush the top of it with oil and add the next and continue until all have been brushed. When finished, brush oil around the sides.
With a sharp knife, cut the pile of shells up into wedges.
Spread out in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool on pan for a couple of minutes before removing.
Effortless Creation #4
Swap out oatmeal for quinoa! I enjoy this recipe. You can follow the directions and make the quinoa fresh in the morning or you can use leftover cooked quinoa and jump in where you add ingredients to the blender and go from there (which can be a huge timesaver). It’s easy to adjust the ingredients to your personal preferences (I like little less almond milk than called for so it turns out thicker when I blend it) and your family can be as creative as they like with the add-ins! This can also make a quick and easy lunch.
I hope some of these ideas make it to your plates!
p.s. If you are looking for tips or suggestions regarding introducing new foods or meals to your family, please check out my Family Consultation package that I offer. I would love to help your family on their journey!