Cooking with Quinoa

I know quinoa is good for me. It's high in protein and nutrients, low in calories, and low on the glycemic index. Quinoa is a superfood! It just seems that I am always running out of ideas on how to prepare the stuff. So after consulting with my favorite chef, Amanda Williams, I want to share 2 recipes that might take you out of your quinoa rut.

Strawberry Cocoa Quinoa Muffins (makes 12)

1 cup whole wheat flour (or gluten free flour blend)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbs chia seeds (optional)
2 tbs raw local honey (or maple syrup)
2 eggs
1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup strawberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix eggs, greek yogurt, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Mix dry ingredients into wet, stirring until just combined. Gently fold in cooked quinoa and strawberries. Pour into well greased muffin tin. Bake 30-40 minutes.

Moroccan Carrot & Quinoa Salad (makes 4-6 servings)

2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground paprika (smoked is recommended)
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 pound carrots, peeled into ribbons (or buy pre-shredded carrots)
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts (or sliced almonds)
1/2 cup dates, sliced
1-2 cups arugula

Toss quinoa with olive oil, lemon juice and spices. Toss with carrots, pine nuts, and dates. Refrigerate for at least one hour to let flavors blend, or overnight for best flavor. Toss with arugula just before serving.