Chances are you’ve heard of this protein-packed superfood, but many people aren’t exactly sure what to do with it. Similar in appearance to couscous, quinoa is a gluten-free seed (although it’s often referred to as a grain) that’s been used by the South Americans for thousands of years. Since first coming across quinoa a couple of years ago, I’ve found it’s actually super easy to use and really versatile. A quick glance through my cupboards unearths quinoa flakes, quinoa pasta, quinoa flour and the grain itself. See below for two of my favourite quinoa recipes: a chicken and roasted vege salad and a healthy banana, date and walnut loaf!

Chicken and roasted vege quinoa salad
(gluten-free, dairy-free, low GI)

I’ve made this salad with chicken and leftover roast veges but really you can use any protein and salad/ vege combination. Mix it up – sometimes I make it with salad such as cucumber, carrots, celery and corn and add legumes such as four-bean mix instead of the pinenuts. Leftover lean roast lamb is also good!

2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed well
Medium-sized chicken breast (aprox 200g), poached or grilled
Roasted veges of choice – for this recipe, I used:
Sweet potato
Red capsicum
Green beans
Pine nuts, toasted

Cook quinoa according to packet directions (the same method as you’d use for cooking rice the absorption way) – aprox 10 mins.
Slice cooked chicken and add to quinoa along with roasted veges and top with pine nuts.
Serves 2 – to increase the number of portions, allow 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa per person and add more chicken and veges.