De Ma Cuisine

Quinoa Archive



February 2015



Eating Vegetarian

Written by , Posted in How To, Thoughts

We try to keep to a diet that’s full of real whole foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed, full of plants, good proteins, fats, and some meat.

Yes, I’m talking about meat in a post about eating vegetarian. Stay with me.

In our home, we eat meat because we like it. We like the taste, what it adds to a dish, the protein it provides. However… it’s not our only, or even main source of protein. I mentioned this in my recent post How to Eat Well on a Budget. While we love meat, it’s expensive, so we’ve cut way back on our consumption. And I think that our meals have been just as hearty, nutritional, and tasty as they would be if we were eating meat more often. Out of the 21 meals we eat each week, maybe 4 or 5 contain meat (and 1 or 2 of them are usually leftovers).

If you’re looking at it from a strictly need for protein perspective, there’s plenty of other foods out there with protein. No need to worry on that front. I rely on things like quinoa, lentils, beans, nuts, nut butters, eggs, dairy, tofu, grains, fruits, and vegetables. I’m confident that we’re not lacking.

For example, I’ve looked at the numbers for nuts and seeds before. But, looking again today was a good reminder about one of the many reasons that nuts are so good for us. If you look at the protein content alone, some of them may surprise you. Sesame seeds have 27.3g in one cup – sprinkle them on to your favorite Stir Fry for an extra boost. Sunflower seeds have 34.8g of protein in one cup. They’re awesome on salads, in granola, or just eaten raw. And, did you know that pumpkin seeds have a whopping 40.6g of protein in just one cup?! I’ve been adding them to my granola for some extra goodness, and snacking on them raw, in a mixture with almonds and sunflower seeds. (1)

Recommended Dietary Allowance for Protein (2)
Grams of protein needed each day
Children ages 1 – 3 13
Children ages 4 – 8 19
Children ages 9 – 13 34
Girls ages 14 – 18 46
Boys ages 14 – 18 52
Women ages 19 – 70+ 46
Men ages 19 – 70+ 56

A Typical Day 

Here’s what my protein intake might look like on a typical day:

Breakfast 8g: I really enjoy smoothies. They’re an easy way to incorporate fruits, veggies, and protein into a meal. This Summer Smoothie, for example, has close to 8g protein per serving. (1)

Lunch 16.21g: Squash ‘n Eggs (13.54g), fresh fruit (0.27g), and a slice of whole grain toast (2.4g protein) with butter. (1)

Dinner 22.35g: Vegetarian Soft Tacos on a whole wheat tortilla (14.74g), 1/2 C Spanish Rice (brown rice) (7.4g), glass of red wine (0.21g). (1)

Snacks 5.62-12.07g: Stove top popped Popcorn topped with olive oil and sea salt, (0.99g) apple/orange/banana/peach/pear/plum/berries/grapes (average of about 0.93g), 1/4 C nuts and seeds (3.7-10.15g). (1)

As you can see, I’m getting plenty of protein in my diet. In fact, according to the above chart, which states that I need about 46g/day, I’m getting more than I need at 52.18 – 58.63g.

More Vegetarian Meals

You’ve seen what a day of my vegetarian meals might look like. Here are some examples of even more foods that we love to incorporate into our protein rich diet: 



Radish and Feta Toasts

Deconstructed Lasagne

Summer Smoothie

Veggie Pizza with Artichoke Hearts

Lentils on Crispy Sweet Potatoes



Heart Healthy Chard Wraps

Mediterranean Quinoa

Lentil Quinoa and Carrot Supper

Slightly Sweet Granola with Quinoa

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad



Dilly Eggs with Lentils

Lentils on Crispy Sweet Potatoes

Lentil Quinoa and Carrot Supper

Mediterranean Quinoa



Vegetarian Soft Tacos

Cannellini and Beet Green Soup with Feta

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa

Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters


Fresh Fruit and Basil Stuffed French Toast

Massaged Kale Salad with Radish and Apple

Basil Pesto

Red Choi Stir Fry with Tofu and Almonds

Slightly Sweet Granola with Quinoa



Squash ‘n Eggs

Winter Frittata

End of the Week Pasta

Hearty Winter Salad

Fresh Fruit and Basil Stuffed French Toast

Dilly Eggs with Lentils



Red Choi Stir Fry with Tofu and Almonds


Red Choi Stir Fry with Tofu and Almonds

Fresh Fruit and Basil Stuffed French Toast



Summer Smoothie

Fresh Fruit and Basil Stuffed French Toast



Vegetarian Lasagne

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Spicy Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Winter Frittata

End of the Week Pasta

Hearty Winter Salad

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

Lentils on Crispy Sweet Potatoes

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

(2) From, who used: Source for Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) reference and RDAs: Institute of Medicine (IOM) Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. This report may be accessed via*



January 2015



Bulgur Wheat with Sausage and Apples

Written by , Posted in Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Grains, Main Dishes, Meat, Pork, Quick and Easy, Rice, Sausage, Vegetables


I am a big fan of quick weeknight dinners. I’m all for slow-cooked, braised, take the whole afternoon to cook kinda meals. But, most weekdays I’m tired, there are dirty dishes in the sink, and I just want to eat something. Now.

This dish kinda has it all. It’s simple, but satisfying. Especially if you have some crusty bread with butter to go alongside. We did not, but maybe if I plan ahead for eating the leftovers we will. 😉


Bulgur wheat is one of my go-tos. It’s similar tasting to brown rice, but cooks quicker. Also, bulgur is a fun word to say. The dog is staring at my while I repeat it to myself right now.


I made this over the summer for the first time. I used zucchini. Since it’s winter and I had a bunch of carrots in my garden, that’s what I used this time. They went nicely with the apple-sausage combination I had going on. I think butternut squash or sweet potatoes would also taste great, if that’s what you have on hand.


While the bulgur cooks, the rest of the meal comes together. It’s a really quick and easy dinner to prepare. A little chopping, two pots, and you’re ready to go.


I added a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt and a splash of whole milk for creaminess. And the first time I made it, I added some parmesan cheese. I didn’t have any this time, but if I did, I’d definitely add it, so I left it in the recipe.


We will probably have the leftovers for dinner tonight, even though I haven’t figured out the bread situation.

Happy Eating!

Bulgur Wheat with Sausage and Apples

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 3 or so.

Bulgur Wheat with Sausage and Apples


  • 1 C bulgur wheat (I used coarse) (could use brown rice or quinoa to make it gluten-free - adjust cooking time accordingly)
  • 2 C water
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C carrots* (or zucchini in the summer), chopped
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 2 C apple, chopped
  • 2 fully cooked sausage links (I used Argentine inspired), removed from casing (could substitute lentils to make it vegetarian)
  • 2-3 T Greek or plain yogurt
  • splash whole milk (any kind you like - cow, almond, coconut...)
  • 1/2 C parmesan, grated (optional)
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  • *butternut squash, pumpkin, mushrooms, corn, cabbage, onion, celery, leeks, spinach, or tomatoes would also be yummy additions. Cooking time may vary depending on the type of veggies used.


  1. Bring the bulgur and water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cook partially covered for about 15-20 min or so (or until tender).
  2. Heat a pan, add the olive oil, and when it's hot, add the carrots, some salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the apple and cook for about 5 minutes more. Add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the sausage is heated through.
  3. Stir in the yogurt, milk, and parmesan. Cook for 1-2 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  4. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.



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



August 2014



Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Written by , Posted in Beans, Cheese, Dinner, Eggs, Gluten Free, Grains, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Leftovers, Legumes, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Dishes, Potlucks, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Salads, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian


We took a sick day a while back. But, we still needed to eat. I was going to make this quick salad and head back to bed. I felt a cold coming on and had done something to my back. So I was enjoying many many episodes of Gilmore Girls.

The tough thing about working from home and working as a food blogger is that every meal that is deemed good enough for the blog has to have photographs. It takes a lot of effort to stop working. It takes a lot of self control to force myself to just focus on dinner and not wonder whether or not I’m making a mistake by not photographing or writing it down.

Sometimes I’m glad when the sauce breaks.


One of my go-to easy meals to make for a sick day, or to take to a potluck (that hopefully doesn’t fall on the same day), is a quinoa salad. This one is full of veggies and protein. Just what we needed to give us a little lift when we weren’t feeling our best.


A veggie that will add both flavor and color is corn. Corn season is in full swing, so I’m using it in just about everything I can think of. Cutting corn off the cob when it’s not going to be used right away is a good idea, since the sugars turn into starch after a few days, making it less sweet. Corn that you’re not going to use can be frozen raw, for another time.


Collard greens, kale, or chard are cut chiffonade-style (thin ribbons). They add extra nutrients to this already healthy dish.


My in-laws went to Nazareth last year and brought me back some saffron. I’d never used it before and it was fun to experiment with in this dish. If you don’t want to use saffron, feel free to leave it out. If you want to use it, just a pinch will do.



The dressing is made up of some of my favorite things: lemon, honey, olive oil, and garlic.


I like a bit of feta in a salad like this. If you wanted to make this a vegan salad, omit the feta and honey and use your favorite vegan cheese and some maple syrup instead. For added protein (quinoa has lots too) I added garbanzo beans (chick peas).


There are plenty of fresh herbs, lots of cucumber and squash, and kalamata olives (for those of us that like them – Tim does not, but I love them).


I served this simple meal with some nectarines and plums, and a slice of lemon to squeeze over top.


There were leftovers, so a day or two later we had the same thing for lunch, topped with a fried egg.


My favorite way to fry eggs is covered over pretty low heat. Cracking the eggs into a bowl before adding them to the pan will allow any shells to be removed without scorching your finger on the bottom of the hot skillet.


Serve the salad cold, topped with a hot egg.



If you’re good at poaching eggs, those would be great on top too. One of my summer goals is to learn how to make Eggs Benedict, so hopefully my poaching skills will improve slightly. However, I’ve been distracted by our lovely front yard and the beautiful weather and haven’t done much learning.

I think we have about three more months of summer here in L.A., so I’ve got time.

Happy Eating!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Recipe Type: Main, Salad, Side, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Eggs
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 1-2 C cooked quinoa
  • 1-15 oz. can garbonzo beans
  • 1/2 C summer squash, chopped
  • 1/2 C cucumber, chopped
  • 2 T basil, chopped
  • 1 T oregano, chopped
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped
  • 1 cob corn, cut off the cob
  • 1/4 C feta (optional)
  • dressing: juice from 1/2 lemon
  • small pinch saffron
  • 1/8 to 1/4 t smoked paprika
  • good pinch pepper
  • to taste salt
  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • pinch ground ginger
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • olives (optional), for topping
  • lemon slices, for serving
  1. Combine the quinoa with the beans, veggies, herbs, and feta.
  2. Whisk together lemon juice through ginger. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking it in, creating an emulsion.
  3. Mix dressing with salad.
  4. Serve topped with olives and a squeeze of lemon.




February 2014



Heart Healthy Chard Wraps with Quinoa and Walnuts

Written by , Posted in Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Grains, Lunch, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


I’ve read that leafy greens are good for you. Some of you might be sighing and wishing I was wrong. But, it’s just true. So let’s all cheer for greens!


Specifically, let’s go crazy for chard.

Want to know why it’s great for you?

One cup of chard has: 1.8 mg vitamin C (antioxidant, protects LDL cholesterol)‚ 18 mg calcium (strong bones), 30 mg magnesium (conducts electrical impulses of muscles and nerves), 136 mg potassium (“regulates water balance in the body” and “stimulates nerve impulses for the heart”) (1)‚ …to name just a few.

What it doesn’t have: a lot of fat and cholesterol (0.08 g fat, and 0 mg cholesterol ). (1)

Chard and other fruits and veggies contain antioxidants, which, along with other compounds, “prevent plaque from building up on the arterial walls, reduce blood pressure, and strengthen heart muscles.”‚ (1)‚ 

Let them eat chard.


Let’s talk about quinoa.

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), 102 mg calcium, 357 mg magnesium, 697 mg phosphorus, and 1258 mg potassium. (1)

Know what it doesn’t have a lot of? Fat and cholesterol (9.9 g fat – 1 g saturated – the bad kind, 2.6 unsaturated – the good kind, 4 g monounsaturated – the good kind, 0 g cholesterol) (1).

Hello heart health.


Walnuts, walnuts, walnuts.

One cup has: 14.8 g protein, 6.7 g fiber, 98 mcg folic acid, 99 mg calcium, 380 mg phosphorus, 450 mg potassium, 47 g unsaturated fat, and 8.9 g monounsaturated fat. (1)

Know what they don’t have a lot of? Saturated fat (4.5 g) and cholesterol (0g). (1) 

Walnuts contain omega-3 fats, which “inhibit blood clotting, encourage activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, increase blood flow, protect against heart arrhythmia, dissolve clots, lower blood triglycerides, raise HDL cholesterol, and have anti-inflammatory properties.” Omega-3 = clearer arteries. (1)

Notice a trend?


Why do these things matter? Why should you care?

Here’s why…

It’s simple, the heart is a necessary component for life. So let’s treat our hearts to wonderful fruits and veggies, good fats and lean proteins, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.


Happy Eating!

Heart Healthy Chard Wraps with Quinoa and Walnuts
Recipe Type: Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Greens, Dinners, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
These quick and easy wraps are full of nutrients and heart healthy goodness.
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3-4 small or 2 large leeks, washed well and chopped
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 C quinoa
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 C raisins, chopped
  • dash cayenne
  • to taste, salt
  • to taste, pepper
  • 2 C water
  • 1/2 C walnuts, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • toothpicks
  • 6-8 large chard leaves (leave 1″-2″ of stem)
  • salt
  • water
  1. Heat a medium saucepan and add oil. Add leek and onion. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add quinoa, lemon zest, raisins, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add water, cover, and bring it to a boil. Uncover and cook for 10 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked.
  4. Stir in walnuts and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Heat a large pot and add water and salt. When water is boiling add chard and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. (Save boiled water to make vegetable stock.)
  6. Scoop some of the quinoa filling on to the center of the chard leaf. Wrap the sides inward, then wrap the top and bottom to overlap the sides. Secure the stem with a toothpick.
To re-heat add a bit of vegetable stock or water to the bottom of a pan. Add the wraps. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes, or until the filling comes to 165F.

Note: I’m not a healthcare professional. I’ve done a little bit of looking around. These are just some thoughts. Ok? Cool? Cool.

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