De Ma Cuisine

Quinoa Archive



April 2015



Warm Beet and Walnut Salad

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Grains, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Nuts, Potlucks, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Rice, Salads, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


It’s spring. But, here in L.A. it seems like the weather’s not sure what it wants to do. One week it feels like summer, the next, we’re back to our winter weather.

But, this salad can be eaten rain or shine.

It’s a simple one. And it goes kinda like this…

You start with a grain: Quinoa, brown rice, bulgur wheat, wild rice, or couscous.

You choose your veggies (any or all): Beets, carrots, greens, tomatoes (ok, technically a fruit), or summer squash.

Then you choose your add ins: Walnuts, almonds, raisins, apples, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.

Fresh herbs are added: Parsley, basil, or thyme.

And you’re ready to eat!


Since we get beets year round here, we can eat this hearty salad whenever we want. I had golden beets on hand, but red beets would work well too.


I love the feeling of sunshine that golden beets bring to my kitchen. They’re such a happy root veggie.


Veggies are cooked in a skillet – easy! Beets are a pretty dense root veggie, so be sure to give them enough time to cook (20 minutes or so seemed to do the trick for me).


I love raw walnuts, so they were a perfect choice. Some raisins and apples added a bit of sweetness to the already sweet beets and carrots. Sweet, but not too.


For my grain, I chose quinoa. Packed with protein, it seemed like a great fit for a vegan dish.


Some quality olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon brighten and round out the dish.


The finished product is a warm salad. The beets warm the add ins slightly, while the add ins cool the cooked veggies. You could also refrigerate and eat it a few hours later.

Quick and easy to prepare, packed with nutrients and protein, this one was a hit at our house. Even Tim, who isn’t crazy about beets, thought it was really good.

Happy Eating!

Warm Beet and Walnut Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 3-4

Warm Beet and Walnut Salad


  • 1 C water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 C uncooked quinoa (rinsed) (or couscous, wild rice, bulgur wheat, or brown rice with appropriate amount of water)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C golden beets (red beets would work great too), peeled and chopped
  • 1 C carrots (or summer squash), chopped
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 3 C greens (like spinach, chard, or kale), chopped
  • sprinkle cayenne
  • 1 t fresh parsley, chopped (divided)
  • 1 t fresh basil, chopped (divided)
  • 2 T raisins, chopped
  • 1/4 C apple, chopped
  • 1 C walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 C pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the quinoa. Bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until done. (If using other grains, cook according to package's instructions.)
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-low. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot add the beets through pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes (or until veggies are tender), adding greens after about 10-15 minutes (depending on type of greens - more tender greens will require less time to cook).
  3. Remove skillet from the heat. Stir in half of the herbs (reserving the rest for topping), and then raisins through lemon juice, and cooked quinoa. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  4. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold, with a lemon wedge for squeezing over.



April 2015



Vegan Tofu Fried Quinoa

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Grains, Leftovers, Lunch, Main Dishes, One Dish Dinners, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Rice, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


We don’t eat a lot of meat. We enjoy it, but it’s expensive, and we’ve found that there are plenty of other ways to get enough protein in our diet. So the meals containing meat are few and far between, and we fill in the gaps with meals like this take on Fried Rice.


It starts with some seasonal veggies. Right now we’ve got greens like kale, chard, and mei qing choi. There are carrots, snap peas, and spring onions. And we’ve got the most delicious spring onions.

If you wanted to adapt this to suit another season, you could try some of these options:

Spring: Radishes, green beans, asparagus, fava beans, garlic scapes, or kohlrabi.

Summer: Zucchini/summer squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, or sinqua.

Fall: Beets, arugula, cabbage, celery, chard, fennel, or radicchio.

Winter: Broccoli, cauliflower, winter squash, bok choy, mustard greens, or daikon radishes.


No matter the veggies, it’s going to come together super quickly, so I’d suggest having all of the components ready to go before you begin cooking. Stir fry type dishes generally tend to cook over pretty high heat, which means they need to be stirred almost constantly. This doesn’t leave time for chopping up the next ingredients while the first ones cook.


I’d made some quinoa the day before, and used the leftovers in this dish. You could also use bulgur wheat, rice noodles, or regular brown rice (cook according to the package’s directions).


The quinoa takes the place of brown rice, since it has a bit more protein. The tofu mimics the egg, to make it vegan. I asked Tim if he could tell that there weren’t eggs in here. He said that it wasn’t noticeable.


Like a lot of things, I enjoy this served with a wedge of lemon to squeeze over top. The brightness that it adds is the perfect way to complete this dish.

Happy Eating!

Vegan Tofu Fried Quinoa

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Vegan Tofu Fried Quinoa


  • 2 T oil
  • 1 C snap peas (or green beans), strings removed, chopped
  • 1 C carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 C fennel (or celery), chopped
  • 1 C onion, chopped
  • 2 C greens, chopped
  • sprinkle ginger
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • sprinkle cayenne
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 T soy sauce or gluten-free aminos
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 C quinoa (or bulgur wheat, brown rice, or rice noodles) (cooked)
  • 7 oz. tofu (firm), drained and crumbled
  • 1/4 C green or spring onions, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 C microgreens
  • lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Heat a wok, add oil over medium-high heat. Add snap peas through cayenne and cook for 3-5 minutes, turning constantly.
  2. Add greens through microgreens (if microgreens are very delicate, wait to add them until 1 minute before you finish cooking) and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.



March 2015



Almond Butter Stir Fry

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Nuts, One Dish Dinners, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Rice, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian


Stir Fry is one of those dishes that’s packed with flavor, nutrients, and is ready in a flash. Perfect for those tired nights when you don’t know what to make for dinner.


There’s just something about the colorful veggies. Purple cauliflower, bright orange carrots, green broccoli… they’re such happy and friendly colors. You could totally switch up the veggies depending on what you’ve got on hand and what’s in season. Sugar snap peas, bell peppers, onions, and green beans would all be fabulous.


I like to add nut butters to bump up the protein in a dish, especially if I’m opting to keep it vegetarian (which I did for this dish, but you could definitely add meat, or keep it vegetarian and add some pan fried tofu). Also, I just like the taste. Today I used almond butter. It’s not quite as in your face as peanut butter is, yet it still brings the same nutty yumminess.


The sauce is whisked together before the veggies go in to the wok. Since they are cooked over fairly high heat, stirred almost constantly, and cook quickly, I don’t want to take chances with anyone burning while I whisk up the sauce.


They cook so fast that the veggies still retain their bright, beautiful colors.


Sauce is added and will just cook for a minute or two.


I like to toss the noodles (or rice or quinoa) with the veggies and sauce. That way I can make sure that they all get nice and coated.


And then it’s ready to be topped with almonds and some lemon juice. You could absolutely add chopped green onions, sesame seeds, and cilantro too.


I like using rice noodles with Stir Fry. Some don’t even require any cooking – they just warm up in a bowl of hot water. They stand up great to re-heating the next day too. Rice or quinoa – also great. Or how about fried rice? Yum! Or, how about rice noodles with a fried egg on top?! Now we’re talking… Of course it was great just the way I made it – topped with almonds and a good squeeze of lemon.

Happy Eating!

Almond Butter Stir Fry

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4

Almond Butter Stir Fry


  • 1/4 C almond butter
  • 1 t honey
  • 3 T to 1/4 C water
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1 T liquid aminos (or GF soy sauce)
  • 1/8 t ground ginger
  • 1/8 t ground coriander
  • pinch cayenne
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1-2 C broccoli, bite sized pieces
  • 1-2 C cauliflower, bite sized pieces
  • 1 C carrots (or celery), sliced on a bias
  • (sugar snap peas, bell peppers, onions, green beans would also be great)
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1-2 C greens (or cabbage), chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • lemon slices, for serving
  • almonds, chopped, for serving
  • rice noodles, rice, or quinoa, for serving
  • fresh herbs (chives, cilantro) (optional), chopped, for serving


  1. (Optional: Cook rice or quinoa, if serving one of those with the dish. Cook a protein, if desired.)
  2. Whisk together almond butter through cayenne. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. (If using rice noodles, follow instructions on package and cook/warm now.) Heat a wok or large skillet over medium or medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add broccoli through pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring almost constantly. Add greens and garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes more. Stir in the sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes more. (Optional) Toss with rice/quinoa/rice noodles if desired and cook for 1 minute more.
  4. Serve topped with a squeeze of lemon and almonds, and fresh herbs, if desired.



January 2015



Red Choi Stir Fry with Tofu and Almonds

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Dinner, Lunch, Main Dishes, Nuts, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Rice, Sauces, Vegetables, Vegetarian


It makes me super happy when I’ve made something that’s loaded with veggies, and Tim, unprompted, tells me how much he likes it. What a guy! Good thing he liked it so much (even the tofu!), because I am sold.


First of all, tofu is a cheap way to get some protein into a dish. I know, I know, not everyone is crazy about soy. So, if you’re not a tofu fanatic, that’s awesome too! Be who you are, right?! If you’d like, add some chicken instead, Tempeh is great too (but also a soybean product), beef and pork would also be super yum. Or, go totally vegetarian and add some more nuts (even a scoop of peanut or almond butter mixed into the sauce would be great).

See how easy that was?! Substitution central over here. This is one where there’s something for everyone.

Oh yeah, and if you’re vegan, omit the fish sauce. (No duh, Rachel. You knew that… We taught our 2 year old niece to say, “No duh, Uncle Tim” over the holidays. It was one of the highlights of the trip. Especially when she started saying it to Oma too.) I’d planned to make this a vegan dish. I was going to add some honey, then remembered that some vegans don’t eat honey. I finished cooking and realized that fish sauce is obviously not vegan. Eye roll and shrug of the shoulders. I can’t expect my brain to work perfectly all the time. 😉


This is my go-to stir fry sauce. It’s simple. Soy sauce (or a gluten-free version, which tastes remarkably similar), fish sauce, and rice vinegar. Sometimes I use cornstarch and water, to act as a thickener. Either way, we think it tastes great.


Stir Fry is one of those awesome meals for using up whatever veggies are hanging out in the fridge. It’s also a way to pack in many many veggies, but can also be great if you’ve just got broccoli and an onion left at the end of the week. My goal, this time, was to find a way to use the red choi. The rest of the veggies are kinda just a bonus. Plus, it’s a great dish for cabbage using up. And, tastes great with an Asian slaw on the side. Yep, do it, get your cabbage on!


Anoooooother reason I love Stir Fry, it’s so incredibly quick to prepare. Veggies cook over higher heat, so they cook fast and retain their bright color. A friend gave me a wok, so now I don’t throw veggies all over the stove.

Don’t forget, keep those veggies moving. High heat means they’re gonna burn if you leave them unattended.


Once the veggies are cooked (see how greeeeeeeen they are still!?), sauce goes in, cooks for like 2 minutes more, and then you’re done!


You could stand there and eat it out of the wok. Totally fine with me.


But, maybe a better option is to scoop some rice onto a plate, slide some tofu next to it, and pile on those veggies.

If you’ve already eaten 5 pieces of the crispy tofu, I understand. I may have done the same.

May have.

Happy Eating!

Red Choi Stir Fry with Tofu and Almonds

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 21 minutes

Total Time: 31 minutes

Yield: 2-4

Red Choi Stir Fry with Tofu and Almonds


  • 1 C brown rice (rice noodles, quinoa, or bulgur wheat would also be great)
  • 2 C water
  • 1 block firm tofu, sliced about 1/8" to 1/4" thick
  • to taste salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • pinch ginger
  • 2 t olive oil, divided
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1/4 C cold water
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • pinch ginger
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 C carrots or celery, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 C broccoli or cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2-4 T radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 C cabbage (or collard greens or kale), chopped
  • 1 head red choi stems, chopped
  • (could also add: snap peas, bean sprouts, green beans, summer squash, butternut squash)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head red choi leaves, chopped
  • 2 T almonds, chopped, for serving


  1. Cook rice.
  2. While rice cooks, sprinkle both sides of the tofu with salt, cayenne, and ginger. Heat skillet over medium to medium-high heat, add 1 t olive oil, when it's hot add tofu, working in batches so the pan isn't overcrowded, cook for about 2-3 minutes per side (or until sides are browned and crispy), adding more oil as needed. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Whisk together soy sauce through ginger. Set aside.
  4. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 T olive oil. When oil is hot, add carrots through salt. Cook, stirring constantly (picking veggies up with tongs and moving them around works best for me), for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red choi leaves and cook for about 2 minutes more.
  5. Stir in sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes (or until sauce has thickened).
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  7. Serve over rice, topped with chopped almonds.


If it's not essential for this to be vegetarian, 1 t fish sauce is a good addition to the sauce.

P.S. Those leftovers, plomp it all together in a pan and heat it up. The rice will love the sauce, and get a little bit crispy and extra yummy.



January 2015



What’s the Deal with Quinoa?!

Written by , Posted in How To, Quinoa


Have you hopped on the quinoa bandwagon? Maybe you’ve been on it for a while. I got on years ago, before it was super trendy. I can’t remember how I discovered it, or even why. I know that I didn’t know how to pronounce it. I called it ki-no-wah, instead of keen-wah.

What a great discovery!

One cup of quinoa has: 22 g protein, 10 g fiber, 83 mcg folic acid, 4.98 mg niacin (vitamin B3) (“important for blood circulation and reducing cholesterol levels in the blood”) (1), 357 mg magnesium, 697 mg phosphorus, and 1258 mg potassium. (1)

I didn’t realize this when we first tried it, but quinoa “has the highest protein content of any grain” (1) (even though technically “it’s the fruit of an herb, not a grain” (2)). If you would compare the amount of protein in one cup of quinoa (22g) to the amount in one cup of brown rice (14.8g), pearled barley (20g), bulgur (19g), and whole wheat pasta (8.4g) (1), quinoa wins. (That’s not to take away from the other options, which I think are great, and are all a regular part of our menu.)


I think that quinoa has a great texture hot or cold, so it’s a perfect fit. I used it this past summer in a Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. The year before, the salad was a similar idea, using tomato and corn. The year before that, it had a bit of a southwestern feel when I added black and pinto beans. I took these salads to potlucks and they were a hit!

Quinoa is super versatile. I use it as I would rice or bulgur, and sometimes even in place of pasta. You could use quinoa in this End of the Week Pasta, instead of the whole wheat penne. You could substitute it for rice and make Spanish rice to go with some Vegetarian Soft Tacos. You could bump up the protein content of some Cannellini and Beet Green Soup with Feta by adding a handful of quinoa to the broth, or adding a generous spoonful of cooked quinoa to a Massaged Kale and Tuna Salad. Why not, right?!


It’s great all wrapped up too. I think it would be fabulous in place of the bulgur wheat in the Cabbage Rolls with Italian Sausage that I made a few weeks ago (even though bulgur has a good amount of protein too – 19g/1 cup (1)). It makes for a great stuffing agent for things like tomatoes and bell peppers. And, it’s practically the star of the Heart Healthy Chard Wraps with Quinoa and Walnuts.

Of course, it’s also great when it’s not being substituted for anything. I love it hot in this Mediterranean Quinoa dish with kale, olives, beans, and tomato, or with lentils and plenty of veggies.


And last, but not least, I really enjoy it in granola. Oats have lots of protein (26g/1 cup) (1). So I don’t add the quinoa for a protein boost. I just kinda like the extra crunch and kinda nutty flavor it brings.

If you want to come up with your own quinoa dish, some suggestions for what to pair it with are: Nuts, tomatoes, greens, salads, onions, black beans, olive oil, feta cheese, corn, and citrus (2)… to name just a few.

So there you have it, friends. All sorts of reasons to start (or continue) enjoying quinoa. I mean, how many foods can boast that they’re a great source of protein as well as being a delicious option for breakfast, lunch, or dinner?!

Happy Eating!

(1) Nutrition Almanac, Mc Graw-Hill 2001, Fifth Edition, Lavon J. Dunne

(2) The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, Little, Brown and Company 2014, First Edition, Karen Page