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May 8, 2009 | by Chef Herschel Arnow

The ever-so-versatile supergrain.

Quinoa was a staple food for the Incas. It remains an important food in South American homes. It's a supergrain, high in protein and unsaturated fats. It is a valuable source of nutrients and is relatively low in carbohydrates. Quinoa cooks like rice. It can be used as part of a main dish, in soups, salads and even as a dessert.


4 cups water
2 cups quinoa, rinsed well, drained
2 tablespoons raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
2 medium zucchini, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine first 4 ingredients in a heavy large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in paprika and cinnamon. Add quinoa to skillet; toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in cilantro and serve.


1 cup quinoa (about 6 ounces)

1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped mango or cantaloupe
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup chopped peeled mango or cantaloupe
1 cup chopped unpeeled cucumber
5 tablespoons chopped green onions, divided
2 cups (packed) baby spinach

Cook quinoa in medium pot of boiling slated water over medium heat until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain well; cool. Transfer to medium bowl.

Meanwhile, whisk oil and next 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Add chopped mango or cantaloupe, cucumber, 4 tablespoons green onions, and dressing to quinoa; toss to coat. Divide spinach between 2 plates. Spoon quinoa salad over spinach.


2 cups of canned corn
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 sticks (1/4 cup) butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups quinoa (about 10 oz)
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Whisk together lemon juice, butter, honey, slat and pepper in a large bowl until combined.

Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a large sieve each time.

Cook quinoa in a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve over same pot with 1 inch of simmering water. Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid and steam until quinoa is tender, fluffy, and dry, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in corn, scallions, mint, and salt and pepper to taste.


1 cup quinoa (6 oz), picked over
6 cups water
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup slivered almonds or coarsely ground walnuts, or mixture
1/4 cup dried raisins
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Wash quinoa in several changes of cold water in a bowl, rubbing grains between your palms, then drain well. Bring quinoa and 6 cups of water to a boil in a large sauce pan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until grains are translucent, 13 to 15 minutes. Drain well in a sieve.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, 3/4 cup sugar, and salt in a large bowl until just combined. Stir in quinoa, bread crumbs, nuts, and raisins and pour into a buttered 9-inch square metal baking pan.

Stir together cinnamon and remaining tablespoon sugar and sprinkle over top of pudding. Bake in middle of oven until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 1/2 cups cooked canned black bean, rinse
1 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
1 1/2 cups canned corn
3/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander

For dressing

5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 /14 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
1/3 cup oil

In a bowl wash quinoa in at least 5 changes cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve.

In a saucepan of salted boiling water cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in sieve and rinse under cold water. Set sieve over a saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary)

While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapenos, and coriander and toss well.

Make dressing:

In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, salt, cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking.

Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to tastes. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.




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