Master the Art of Quinoa

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It is gluten free, grain free, high protein and packed full of nutrients including calcium, iron, zinc and B vitamins. It truly is a superfood and one of the few “good carbs”.

Quinoa is delicious as a porridge or bircher muesli, or as a grain free substitute to rice. It’s also fantastic to bulk up salads, soups and casseroles.

Whilst it is grain free, some people experience digestive problems with quinoa. The seed coating contains saponins which can irritate the intestines, so quinoa must be soaked and washed under running water thoroughly before cooking.

Here’s how to prepare quinoa:

  1. Soak 1 cup of quinoa for 15 minutes then rinse under running water. You can tell when the saponin is removed as it produces a soapy solution in the water.
  2. Drain the quinoa and add to 2 cups of boiling water.
  3. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to simmer. Fluff gently with a fork mid-way. Cook for 20 minutes or until the edge of the seed separates as a white spiral and the seed turns clear. All of the water should have evaporated.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to sit five minutes before serving.
  5. Store in an airtight container and add to your breakfast and salads during the week.

Easy! And here are my new favourite recipes that are so simple to make, you’ll wonder why you’ve waited this long to master the art of quinoa.

1. Cold Quinoa “Cereal”


  • 2 tablespoons cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flakes
  • 8 almonds, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pepitas
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 small handful of blueberries/raspberries
  • 100g natural/coconut yogurt
  • Unsweetened almond milk


  1. Combine quinoa, nuts and seeds in a small bowl.
  2. Add fruit, yogurt and milk and stir through.

2. Raspberry & Coconut Quinoa Porridge


  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 teaspoon LSA (linseed, sunflower & almond meal)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon pepitas
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 small handful raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon rice malt syrup


  1. Bring water and half of the milk to the boil.
  2. Add quinoa and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring well until thick and all the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Pour into a bowl and stir through LSA.
  4. Top with coconut, pepitas, remaining milk and nutmeg.
  5. Add raspberries and drizzle rice malt syrup on top before serving.

3. Quinoa & Roast Vegetable Salad


  • •2 tablespoons extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil
  • •1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • •1 zucchini, diced
  • •1 handful spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cooked quinoa
  • •1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • 1 teaspoon sunflower seeds
  • 30g Goat’s milk feta
  • Your choice of protein


  1. In a preheated oven, roast sweet potato and zucchini with oil and a pinch of salt if desired. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, arrange the spinach leaves.
  3. Add quinoa and ½ cup of roast vegies. Store the rest in an airtight container for the week.
  4. Dress with ACV.
  5. On top, sprinkle sunflower seeds, feta and your choice of protein. I love smoked salmon on this salad for extra omega 3.

This salad literally takes 5 minutes to put together if your vegies are already roasted. I like to prepare mine on a Sunday, so I start the week with all my natural ingredients ready to go. It makes healthy eating even easier after a late training session or long day at work.

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