Turn Quinoa Into a Star With These Five Innovative Recipes

Quinoa is the quintessential superfood for a reason
Salmon Quinoa Cakes

Alaska Seafood

This playful interpretation of a crab cake pairs two of the most nutritious ingredients out there: salmon and quinoa.

Quinoa is the poster child of the superfood movement, with imports into the United States increasing nearly tenfold in the past decade, but why has this South American seed suddenly become so popular? [related]

The answer is simple: Quinoa’s got it all. One cup of cooked quinoa contains eight grams of protein, five grams of fiber, and 58 percent of the recommended daily allowance of manganese, and it supplies a host of other vitamins and minerals — all for less than 250 calories. Quinoa also possesses unique antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer properties, is gluten-free, and also scores low on the glycemic index, which means it’s safe for diabetics.

But when served as-is this superfood seed can be bland, uninviting, and monotonous.

Suffer from quinoa ennui no longer: Fold these seeds in with salmon, egg, bread crumbs, and top with a fresh dill-cream sauce for a flavorful spin on a salmon burger; mix them with toasted hazelnuts and shallots for a delightful stuffed pepper; or use quinoa as the base for an Italian-inspired quinoa Caprese casserole.

Turn quinoa into a star with these five innovative recipes.

Crispy Quinoa Bites

The muffin tin is an underappreciated kitchen gadget; use it to make individual portions of these crispy quinoa bites, which can easily be transported to the office for lunch or devoured on the morning commute. Quinoa, black rice, shredded cheese, fresh basil, garlic, and grape tomatoes put an Italian spin on these crispy, savory muffins.

Click here for the Crispy Quinoa Bites recipe.

Hazelnut Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

If you’ve never cooked with hazelnuts — start now. The crunch and toasted notes of the hazelnut complement the soft texture and subtle nature of the quinoa. Sautéed shallots, spinach, and garlic as well as the quinoa and hazelnuts are stuffed into peppers, which are then roasted in the oven until lightly browned.

Click here for Hazelnut Quinoa Stuffed Peppers recipe.

Quinoa Caprese Casserole

Creamy, cheesy, and flavorful, this Caprese casserole has the texture and taste of a bubbling baked ziti, but uses quinoa for a boosted nutritional profile. If you’re really on a Caprese kick, try these 10 other ways to serve Caprese salad.

Click here for the Quinoa Caprese Casserole recipe.

Salmon Quinoa Cakes

This playful interpretation of a crab cake pairs two of the most nutritious ingredients out there: salmon and quinoa. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin D, while quinoa offers fiber, manganese, and folate. Prepared quinoa is mixed with canned salmon, bread crumbs, red onion, eggs, and bell peppers; lightly fried, and then topped with a lemon-dill cream sauce.

Click here for the Salmon Quinoa Cakes recipe.

Smoky Avocado Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Move over avocado toast, this smoky avocado quinoa breakfast bowl has officially replaced you. This savory breakfast treat is nutritionally balanced and will keep you satiated until lunch time.

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Click here for the Smoky Avocado Quinoa Breakfast Bowl recipe.