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Foods That Heal – Quinoa and A Delightful Mixed Vegetable Quinoa Risotto Recipe

31 August 2011 14 Comments

Quinoa recipes
A wonder grain and a super food Quinoa is finding its place in the most modern kitchens of many health enthusiast again. Quinoa is actually a seed and is related to Spinach family. When cooked this becomes light & fluffy and gives a nutty taste of grain. Close to one of the most complete foods in nature, Quinoa is a great substitute for many grains which are hard to digest and to some lentils which lack certain chemicals which are present in Quinoa.

This post would not have seen the light of day so early but for the AFBHLS post from Simone. When I discussed with a friend on Twitter about the Quinoa recipe which is the next AFBHLS post, she was confused about this wonder food and knew nothing about it. I had this post already in my draft and thought of synchronizing with Simone’s guest post for readers benefit.

Composition; These are tiny looking seeds light yellow to brown in color. It has a coating of bitter tasting Saponins which has to be removed before cooking. The grains need to be soaked and washed thoroughly to get rid of the Saponins.

Health benefits

  • Quinoa contains all the nine essential proteins or amino acids necessary for growth and repair.
  • It is a good source of manganese, iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • Magnesium in it helps reducing migraine and relaxing the blood vessels.
  • Riboflavin present in the grain boost energy.
  • The anti oxidants present in Quinoa helps against free radicals.
  • The fiber present in the grain is good for pre-menstrual women and reducing gallstones.
  • Eating wholegrain like Quinoa helps against obesity, diabetes and strokes.
quinoa recipes

Quinoa Risotto

Prudent uses;

  • Germinated Quinoa can be added to salads and cold foods.
    Quinoa makes a healthy breakfast porridge.
  • Risotto or pilaf cooked with it tastes great.
    Make soups and stews using quinoa.
  • Ground Quinoa flour can be used to bake cakes, muffins, cookies and breads.
  • Quinoa has a very short germinating time, just 2-4 hours in water is enough to make it sprout

Mixed Vegetable Quinoa Risotto

Quinoa Risotto

Healthy Quinoa Risotto

Quinoa could be used in making many delectable dishes to add flavor and healthy to your diet. This is a simple and scrumptious Risotto with loads of vegetables in it. Quinoa is easily available in market, try to get de husked quinoa which is easy & quick to cook. Quinoa with husk or outer skin is hard and is not palatable.

I normally make vegetable stock in large quantity, fill it in small jars and freeze them for future use. If you don’t have time you can use store bought vegetable stock or even use just plain water to make this Risotto.


(serves 2)

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock/water
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 onion
  • Mixed veggie (corn, carrot, bell pepper)
  • 2 garlic pearls
  • Salt as desired
  • 1 tsp. white/black pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp any dry herb (rosemary/thyme/oregano)
vegetable stock

Veggie peels and stalks…homemade vegge Stock

Method; Wash Quinoa in running water and keep aside. Peel and dice all the vegetables finely. Do not throw the peels of the veggies, you could use them to make your stock.

How to make vegetable Stock; Collect all the peels of veggies and wash them well in water. Stalk of green vegetables such as Spinach and coriander makes a flavorful stock. Take a large vessel and heat 1 litre of clean water in it. add the peels of all veggies and a few slices of carrots, potatoes also in it.

Bring the water to boil till it reduces to about two cups. Take off the flame and cool it. Store the veggie stock in small jars and freeze them till use.

Heat a wok and add olive oil in it, add diced garlic and onion in the hot oil and fry for a few seconds. Add the washed Quinoa and fry it till all the grains are well coated with Olive oil. Add all the diced veggies in it.

Pour a ladle of vegetable stock/water in the wok and stir. Keep the heat at medium and add another ladle of water. Keep adding and stirring the quinoa till all the stock is used.

Quinoa Risotto

Healthy Quinoa Risotto

Remove from heat. Grate the cheese and mix into the mixed vegetable Quinoa Risotto. Sprinkle white pepper powder, grated cheese and salt and mix well. Serve it hot. The recipe makes a scrumptious and filling meal. Quinoa is much easy and quick to make into a Risotto than rice. Try these easy rice Risotto or healthy Quinoa Salad.


  1. Unlike the rice Risotto, Quinoa risotto keeps its texture and stays good for longer time.
  2. Replace 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of red wine for an authentic Risotto flavor.

Make use of these wonders of nature in your kitchen and whip out some healthy and scrumptious recipes from Quinoa.

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  • chinmayie @ love food eat said:

    Looks Great Sanjeeta! I still haven’t tried Quinoa… I dont’ really know where to find it in Bangalore.. DO you know any regional name for it by any chance?

  • Junia @ Mis Pensamientos said:

    this is my first quinoa risotto i’ve seen! this looks delicious sanjeeta! love the idea of making homemade veggie stock 😀
    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos recently posted..Raw Shaved Veggie SaladMy Profile

  • Krithi said:

    I love Quinoa and always on the lookout for new recipes with it… Thanks for sharing a lovely dish…

    Krithi recently posted..Black and White Wednesday – First Starbucks StoreMy Profile

  • jeyashrisuresh said:

    quite a healthy and delicious one.very filling too
    jeyashrisuresh recently posted..VINAYAKAR CHATURTHI RECIPES/GANESH CHATURTHI RECIPESMy Profile

  • Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said:

    Love the idea of making quinoa risotto mixed with veggies.
    Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal recently posted..Ultimate Brownie for Blog HopMy Profile

  • Sharmilee said:

    Wow nice informative post

  • Nitha said:

    delicious and healthy one…

  • Swathi said:

    Hi sanjeetha,

    A very good collection of health recipes.I have tried pulao with a pack of quinoa got from US. I am not finding it here in India. I would like to know where I can find Quinoa in Bangalore\Chennai.Thanks!

  • swathi said:

    Hi Sanjeetha,

    A very good collection of health recipes. I have tried Quinoa pulao with a pack got from US. Now I am out of it and looking to buy here in India. Please let me know where I can fing Quinoa in Bangalore\Chennai.

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Swathi, You get Quinoa in Amma Nanna/Nilgiris store in Chennai.

  • Swathi said:

    Thanks much for your quick response! Can you also please let me know where I can find goji berries, organic oatmeal with other flavors, wheat germ, brown rice(We have tried Himalayan pride in US which we love any equivalent here), walnuts?

  • Archna said:

    Dear Sanjeeta,

    You discover and create great food recipes that tingles my taste buds and are read with great interest as these are vegetarian and eggless…which is quiet rare…

    I wanted to request you if you could also mention the baking temp not just of the oven when used but also for the Microwave for the same. Secondly would also like to know if there is any Indian name to Quinoa and Sabja….

    Would really appreciate your response and looking forward to more such delightful surprises that keep springing from your Culinary Pandora’s Box… 🙂

    Love & regards


  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Archna Will keep in mind about mentioning the MW power..I personally dislike MW baking as the bakes does not come out crisp and perfect. I haven’t come across the Indian name for Quinoa yet…will let you know if I do. Sabja is Hindi name for the seeds used in making Falooda. Thanks for appreciation! Hugs.

  • Archna said:

    Thanks for your prompt response Sanjeeta…i agree with you on your views regarding MW baking…but i at present have no choice…therefore troubled you with this request…

    warm hug and regards


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