We have a love hate relationship with quinoa.  We know it is the wonder gain, and that everyone and their brother is devouring it.  Is it really a grain? It is somewhat like a grain, but not really.  In fact, it is not even related to a grain.  We should not even be putting it in the same family, to be honest.  Quinoa is related to the species of beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.  Yes, that is right, the tumbleweed.  The Incas hold the quinoa sacred, and it was the emperor who would sow the first planting.  The history is fascinating;  but, the nutritional values, are amazing.  When I say love-hate, I mean we enjoy it but we hate that it is being wildly made popular as the wonder grain.  Can’t we just love something because we love it?  Either way, we have been enjoying it savory as well as sweet.  This Quinoa Pudding with Mango is going to blow your mind.


Quinoa has an amazing amount of protein;  12% – 18% of it is protein.  Unlike traditional grains, that we are used to eating, such as wheat or rice, quinoa has a balanced amount of amino acids, a huge amount of fiber, and it is high in iron.  If I had picky eaters at home, I would definitely incorporate it into their diets.

Working with quinoa is very easy.  Simply rinse, cover with cold water or stock, and then cook for 15 minutes.  I love watching it grow as it cooks, from small little pebbles to little sprouts popping out.  The texture is really great as well;  with each little bite, there is a sort of “pop” between your teeth.  Reminds me of Pop-Rocks.  I usually use quinoa as a side dish, simply by itself, or seasoned with shallots, spices, pieces of nuts or dried fruit;  it goes nicely with roasted meat.  It also makes a wonderful vegetarian dish, when made into a salad, with fresh cherry tomatoes, chicken peas, slivers of green onion, and a tahini dressing.

I have never thought of using it as a dessert.  Flipping through the February issue of Gourmet Traveller I saw a lovely dessert, the colors really caught my eye.  As I read it, I thought, “genius idea, it is like tapioca;  but healthier”.  I used the same ingredients (almost) as the recipe lists, but I did cut back on the sugar amounts.  It came out creamy, crunchy, and very tropical;  thanks to mango, coconut, and lime flavors.  This little pudding is not only pretty to look at, but it is refreshing, and perfect as a light sweet after dinner, or even as breakfast;  don’t judge, after all, it is loaded with protein!

my food stylist:  Maggie

What is your favorite way to eat Quinoa?  Do you feed it to your picky-eaters?

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Quinoa Pudding with Mango


*serves 6

  • 200 grams black quinoa
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 300 ml coconut milk
  • 1 mango, diced

Recipe: Lime Syrup

  • 100 grams sugar
  • 200 ml water
  • 2 limes, zested

How To:

Rinse quinoa under cold running water, place in a saucepan, cover with cold water.

Over medium heat, bring to a boil, and cook until tender;  about 15 minutes.  Drain, rinse with cold water and let set in a colander until well drained.

While the quinoa is cooking make the lime syrup.  In a saucepan, add the sugar, water, and lime zest.  Over medium-low heat, simmer until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat, and let cool.

Once the quinoa is drained well, put it back into a saucepan with the sugar, and coconut milk;  over medium-low heat, cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, and let cool.  To serve, put some quinoa pudding into a bowl, top with pieces of mango, and drizzle with some of the lime syrup.




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