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Quinoa: A Complete and Delicious Protein

A True Food Kitchen restaurant exclusive! Not only is quinoa a nutritional powerhouse, but it has a delightful nutty flavor that is delicious on its own, or with mild seasoning and simple vegetables as in this recipe. Be sure to wash your quinoa well, as its natural saponin coating is quite bitter, and is not always fully removed during processing.


4 cups red quinoa 
1 cup yellow onion, diced 
1 cup celery, diced 
8 cups water 
2 tablespoons salt (or to taste)
3 sprigs fresh oregano


Sauté onions and celery. Season with salt, pepper and oregano.
Add quinoa and water. Cover and boil on medium heat for about 25 minutes until cooked and fluffy.

Food as Medicine: Quinoa is high in protein, and the protein it contains is complete, which means it includes all nine essential amino acids.

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Reader Comments (10)

Hi Dr. Weil - Could you include the number of servings in your recipes if at all possible? That way, I can make adjustments BEFORE starting. Thanks!

April 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I would very much appreciate operating one of your True Food Kitchen restaurants here on the East Coast. The people on the East Coast need good restaurants like this as well. I am fully qualified as an organic chef and would love to have the honor of doing so should you decide to open on the East Coast. Specifically in the central Virginia (Charlottesville) area.

April 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChef Shelley Wooldridge

I love quinoa too and was thrilled when my local grocery store carried it in their tiny organic foods section. I like cooking the red with mushrooms, olives, red meat on occasion.

My favorite is the white quinoa because it is more tender and has a lighter nutty flavor - good with fish & the lighter fair.

I also mix it with my gluten free oatmeal and sprinkle a few chia seeds for breakfast. My cooking preference for quinoa is with a rice cooker.

A fast favorite for 1-2 servings:
1tbs coconut oil (you can adjust more or less)
1/4 cu quinoa
1/2 cu broth or water
cook in rice cooker 15 min
stir in 1/2 cu mixed vegetables
cook an additional 5 min

April 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLesli

The timing of this article (which I picked up from ZITE for the iPad) couldn't have been more perfect! I bought a pack of organic quinoa from Costco the other day & was quite excited to cook it for the very first time. Your recipe sounded simple enough so I made a few changes. Two cups instead of four (as it was just for two diet-conscious individuals) & I added smoked fish cut into thin strips for seasoning instead of salt. I loved it! Thanks so much.

April 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHans Máristela

Quinoa tabouli is great too!!

April 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky Flory

Yes quinoa is not only delicious in taste, but also highly nutritious food. Totally agree with you.

April 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHealth Blog

We love quinoa. We like to saute garlic, onion, celery, carrots, in oil with roasted pine nuts. We add this to the cooked quinoa and flavor with a few dashes of toasted sesame oil. It's fantastic!!

April 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChuck Nasiatka

Hi Dr. WEil

Thanks for the great info. about quinoa. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of salt! Was wondering if this is a typo? That would be 6,900mg of sodium!

We love quinoa but try to limit sodium and so use different flavorings such as Mrs Dash garlic and herb, onion powder, Braggs Aminos, curry powder, and basil. Goes great added to salad, in a wrap, or as a side dish.

April 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynn Clark

Dear Dr. Weil-
I love quinoa! Thanks for your recipe. It's such a great sorce for protein especially for a vegetarian..
Marla Levie
President, Focus on Aging

April 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarla Levie

My comment is referring to the amount of salt as Lynn Clark mentioned. Two tablespoons?! Even two teaspoons would be too much in my opinion. I add things that have salt in them, like cashews, but do not own a salt shaker and never add straight salt. Go for spices and herbs instead -- those are the ingredients with REAL flavor!

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