Lentils, lentils and more lentils … oh my! March 22, 2010

I’m a lover of the lentil … have you guessed yet?  How could anyone hate these glorious little gems?  So easy to cook, so versatile, so delish, so cheap!  There are so many kinds to choose from too – keeping the boredom at bay.  So, after weeks of adding lentils to just about anything and everything (okay, I was on a bit of a bender you see), here two of my faves, that are ridiculously quick and beyond simple to compile:



1 cup dried green lentils

1 bay leaf

1 cup quinoa

1 tsp each turmeric, salt and coriander

¾ cup raisins or cranberries

¾ cup walnuts

2 green onions, diced

¼ cup fresh parsley (or half the amount dried)

4 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp  white wine vinegar

¼ tsp salt

3 Tbsp olive oil

Pepper to taste


1. Add add lentils and bay leaf to 3 cups of water and cook thoroughly (read package for specific timing).

2. Meanwhile quinoa, tumeric, coriander and salt to 2 cups of water,  bring to a boil, cover and simmer, 10-12 min.

3. Once both pots are cooked, cool then mix together.

4. In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon juice, honey, vinegar, salt, oil and pepper,

5. Stir in dressing to main grains, then add chopped walnuts, cranberries, chopped green onion and minced parsley and combine thoroughly.



1 medium onion

2 Tbsp veggie broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ginger

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp salt

1 cup tomatoes, diced

½ cup chickpeas (canned)

½ cup mixed beans (canned) – I used black eyed peas

1 cup cooked lentils (red cook the fastest but almost dissolve completely)

1 ½ cups water

1 cup leafy greens (I used baby spinach)


1. Sauté onion in oil for 3 min, then add garlic, ginger, turmeric, salt, tomatoes, broth, beans and lentils, simmering covered, until ingredients are softened and flavours are well combined (approx 5-10  min).

2. Add 1 cup greens, simmer again for 2 more minutes.

3. Serve hot over rice, naan, pr pita!


Quinoa Egg Bake March 26, 2009

For all you quiche lovers that just can’t handle regular crust – here’s the answer to your prayers!  The quinoa in this recipe gets baked in the oven so it doesn’t even need to be precooked. It just settles into the bottom of the pan and creates a moist, crunchy crust.  Lots of protein and spinachy-goodness make this a super-healthy meal that takes no time to prep … that’s 100% gluten-free!


1 tsp butter

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

6-7 eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1 tbsp chopped garlic (about 3 large cloves)

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 cup finely shredded Parmesan or old cheddar cheese


1) Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease an 8 x 8 in. glass (or a Le Crueset – my personal fave dish ever – see image) baking dish with butter; set aside.

2) Place quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse until cold running water until water runs clear, then drain well.

3) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and quinoa, stir in chopped spinach, then pour mixture into prepared dish.

4) Cover dish tightly with foil then gently pound or jiggle dish from side to side so that quinoa settles on the bottom in an even layer.

5) Bake until j

ust set, about 40 minutes.

6) Remove foil, sprinkle top evenly with cheese, then return to oven and bake, uncovered, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes more.

7) Set aside to let cool briefly, then slice and serve.



Lentil-Quinoa Salad February 10, 2009

I eat alotta beans … alotta quinoa … alotta salad … so a tri-combo is what my tummy is used to, but it’s quite a savory treat for my tastebuds!  Plus, I’m on a bit of a lentil kick these days.  Did I mention this is so very kind on your wallet too?  Oh, and don’t bother sitting down to wait for the cooking to be complete … it’ll be done before you even set the table!

1 cup lentils, uncooked (or 1 cup canned – skip step 1 if using canned)
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
Fresh coriander (optional)

Lime-curry vinaigrette
1/8 cup canola oil
6 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
1 tsp ground coriander


1) Cook the lentils until tender, about 20 minutes – drain and allow to cool.
2) Cook the quinoa until translucent and tender (2 parts boiling water
or stock, 1 part quinoa, simmered until all water has evaporated) –
allow to cool.
3) Chop scallions; and add along with lentils and quinoa to a large
serving bowl.
4) Place all ingredients for vinaigrette in a separate bowl and stir
thoroughly (you can adjust spices to suit your taste).
5) Add vinaigrette to mixture and combine thoroughly.
6) Garnish with fresh coriander if desired, and serve at room temperature.



QA-Sala (Quinoa Apple Salad) August 12, 2008

I’ve used quinoa in many recipes, and am always looking for new ways to serve this tasty tongue twister (it’s keen-wa). Here’s a nice fresh salad that will serve about 6 as a main-course salad, and keeps really well in the fridge for a few days. Apples are always easy to find and usually pretty tasty even when not in season. If you buy quinoa in bulk, this whole dish will generally cost you under $1 per person. Not too shabby!

juice from 1 lemon
1⁄3 cup apple cider
1⁄2 cup orange juice
1⁄3 cup canola or sunflower oil (olive oil is a bit too full bodied for this)
1⁄3 cup honey
5 cups cooked quinoa
2 apples, cored and chopped
1 red pepper, diced small
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or canned will do)
1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
1⁄2 cup currants (or raisins if you don’t have any currants handy)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1 cup each, fresh parsley and mint, chopped
sea salt/freshly ground pepper to taste

1) Place lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, oil and honey in a small bowl and stir to combine.
2) In a large bowl, combine quinoa and all remaining ingredients well, then stir in dressing. Adjust seasonings and refrigerate until ready to serve!

To cook quinoa, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil in a pot with a lid. Stir in 2 cups quinoa, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until water is fully absorbed, about 25 min. You can cook any amount of quinoa you like as long as you keep the 2:1 ratio of liquid to grain. It is also worth your while to test out other liquids such as your fav stock or even 1/2 coconut milk, 1/2 water.


Quick-fix Cinnamon Raisin Quinoa January 17, 2008

Filed under: Veggie Mains — s mcdowall @ 2:20 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium) grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudo-cereal rather than a true cereal, as it is not a grass. Quinoa has quickly come to be highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete food. This means it takes less quinoa protein to meet one’s needs than wheat protein. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and is super easy to digest. Besides all of that, it is relatively cheap, extremely easy to make and tastes amazing! Use it much like you would either rice or couscous. This simple recipe is very simple, incredibly delicious, healthy, filling, and vegan.


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or broth (I used ½ veggie broth, ½ water)
1 tsp organic canola or olive oil (or butter for non-vegans)
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
¼ cup raisins (or to taste)
1 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar (or to taste)

Optional toppings:
Fresh or dried cherries/strawberries/bananas
Dried cranberries/figs
Fresh or dried blueberries
Almond/coconut/hemp/rice milk (or dairy milk for non-vegans)
Brown sugar
Ground flax
Wheat Germ (for non-gluten-free folks)


1. In a saucepan or rice cooker, add quinoa, water, oil, and cinnamon.
2. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 20 min or until the water is completely absorbed (or follow the instructions for your rice cooker if you want and use that).
3. Once the quinoa is cooked, add raisins and other toppings and stir in the honey or agave nectar.
4. Serve warm or cold. Keeps well refridgerated for a few days.