Healthy Recipes

Quinoa:: Protein for Vegans + Gluten-Free

July 2, 2012

Quinoa is a gluten-free plant-based protein

Quinoa (keen-wah) is a grain-like seed that is so versatile and easy to cook. I personally became more acquainted with this marvelous little seed, which is now a  staple pantry item in my kitchen, when I uncovered I had an allergy to wheat and gluten. In search of other filling tasty alternatives to pasta I started experimenting with Quinoa. Quinoa has a mildly nutty flavor that works with so many recipes the options are endless.

Quinoa is a tasty addition to any gluten-free diet

Actually it’s a tasty addition to any diet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Like I said, this seed is versatile!  It cooks like pasta but I personally like boiling it in organic low sodium vegetable broth instead of water for added flavor in dinner recipes and I also occasionally have Quinoa flakes for breakfast with a dash of organic coconut oil, fresh seasonal berries and cinnamon.  Quinoa is a ‘complete’ protein with all 9 essential amino acids, gluten-free, low in cholesterol, high in fiber, high in antioxidants such as quercitin and rich in vitamins and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper, folate and vitamin E. It also aids in ‘good’ bacteria and digestion, calcium absorption, collagen production and bone health and provides a stable source of energy due to it’s low glycemic index (GI=55, GL=13).

Quinoa Swiss Chard Pilaf: This is a modified version of one of my favorite vegan, gluten-free quinoa recipes using seasonal organic chard from the garden


  •  1 tablespoon organic extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup steamed lentils, rinsed
  • 8 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 quart organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed
  • Himalayan pink sea salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons organic cumin


1.     Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute 5 minutes, until onion is tender. Mix in quinoa, lentils, and mushrooms. Pour in the broth. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

2.     Remove the pot from heat. Shred chard and gently mix into the pot. Add salt and cumin. Cover, and allow to sit 5 minutes, or until chard is wilted.

Nutritional Information 

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 224 | Total Fat: 4.7g | Cholesterol: 0mg
Original quinoa chard pilaf recipe here 


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