Cuckoo for Quinoa!

Quinoa Chili

“Cooking with quinoa at least once a week will elevate you to level 7 vegan in no time,” according to Isa Chandra Moskowitz in her must-have cookbook, Veganomicon (page 115).

There’s a reason that quinoa is so beloved by vegans and other health-conscious foodies, as well as by ancient Aztec warriors: it’s considered to be the only grain that is also a “complete protein.”  What that means is that it contains all nine of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) in significant quantities.  In other words, it’s vegan gold.
Quinoa is an excellent value for a couple of reasons:
1.    The aforementioned protein, along with the good amount of fiber in quinoa make it a filling, satisfying food.
2.    It actually TRIPLES in size when you cook it!
WARNING: do be careful when shopping for quinoa; it’s easy to get ripped off.  You can easily spend $10-12 for a 26-oz. bag of Bob’s Red Mill-brand quinoa, while it’s only $3 a pound or so in the bulk bins a few aisles away.  Not everything is cheaper in the bulk bins, but quinoa always is (in my experience).

Another great thing about quinoa is its fun texture.  It’s actually a seed (hence the protein), and when you cook it, it pops open and forms a little spiral shape.  This texture was a perfect addition to the chili I made on a recent quiet, rainy, Saturday night at home.  It was the ultimate comfort food: hot and delicious, and very, very hearty:

You can (and should) get the recipe from

Seriously…you know you want to…just look at this…

Really…you won’t miss the meat at all, thanks to good ol’ quinoa.
It cost about $10.44 to make, and it made enough for about 10 servings.  The leftovers are delicious; I froze some of them for easy lunches in the future.  …soooo in the end it came to about:


Let me know in the comments if you get around to trying it or if you have a favorite quinoa recipe.  Some time soon I will share David Lynch’s quinoa recipe.


4 responses to “Cuckoo for Quinoa!

  1. I like to get my quinoa from Costco. They have a 4 lb. bag of Earthly Delights Organic Whole Grain Quinoa for around $8, which ends up being about $2/lb. It lasts our family forever (though we don’t eat vegan, so it might not last so long in your home).

    The other plus about this brand, is that it is pre-washed, so there’s no rinsing required before cooking. We love it.

    • Cool! Thanks for the tip! I might look into getting a Costco membership. Do you think it would be worthwhile for just me?

      • Costco is so much better than Sams, IMO. They seem to be much more organic-conscious, I’ve found. The nearest Costco to me is 45 minutes away now, but I still have my membership and try to go whenever I’m in Cinci.

        I think you might use them, as you can purchase more veggies in bulk there (for a fairly decent price). Plus, you can also get other staples. It’s hard to say if you’d use them a lot or not. What I’d do, is find someone with a membership, and tag along with them next time they go. That will give you an idea of what your Costco has and whether or not you’ll use them.

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