Keen on Quinoa

Today started so badly.  My alarm clock did not work so I started my day late and did not have time for breakfast.  One of my new golden rules broken within a week – always make time for breakfast.  D’oh!

I had a very busy and stressful morning and returned home at midday feeling really fed up and hungry.  It was one of those mornings where everything went wrong.  I was so tempted to have a slice of buttered toast.  I managed to resist and set about making lunch.  I decided to focus my efforts on cooking a healthy lunch and think about how good all the food I was preparing was going to do my stressed and frazzled body and mind.  I actually felt quite euphoric that I kept out of the bread bin !

I needed to use up some of the vegetables I have in the fridge.  I am not sure quite how many people I thought I was feeding when I bought them all !  There are a lot there and they need eating up.  I decided to have some purple sprouting broccoli

with some brussel sprouts.  I steamed them and served them with some soy sauce alongside a quinoa based salad.

I have not eaten quinoa for a while and it is reputedly very nutritious.  I decided to make a salad with quinoa as the star attraction.

Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is the seed harvested from the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant.  It is a member of the grass family and is closely related to beets and spinach.  Many people think it is a grain but it is not.

Some of the nutrition benefits are:

  • It is an excellent source of magnesium.
  • It is rich in calcium and iron.
  • It contains all nine essential amino acids which makes it a useful source of protein.
  • It is a good source of fibre.
  • It is low in calories despite being packed with so much minerals and nutrients, which makes it ideal for dieters.
  • It is gluten free, which makes it a great alternative to grains for people with gluten sensitivity.

Quinoa Salad with Yellow Pepper and Avocado

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 60 g quinoa
  • 180 ml water
  • 1/2 a chicken stock cube
  • 1 egg, boiled
  • 1 small yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • Coriander


  1. Put the quinoa and water in a saucepan with the stock cube.  Bring the water to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Put the lid on the pan and leave the quinoa to absorb any left over water for 10 minutes.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the other vegetables, except the avocado, peel and cut the boiled egg and squeeze the lime juice.
  4. When the quinoa is ready, tip the vegetables in the saucepan, slice the avocado and add to the quinoa, pour in the lime juice and stir gently to combine.
  5. Serve the quinoa salad and add the coriander, cooked vegetables (optional) and egg.

Bon appétit!

This portion of salad was 12 WW points.

Having realised that tasteless quinoa becomes tasty when you cook it with stock, I rather enjoy it these days.  This was a very tasty lunch.

To be honest,  the cooked vegetables did not enhance this meal and slightly distracted from the delicate flavour of the quinoa and raw vegetables.  So I ate them to get them out of the way and then enjoyed the quinoa salad.

I used Burford Brown eggs which we all love in this house.  The yolk is so orange and they taste delicious.  As did the rest of the salad.  Having remembered how much I like quinoa, I will be making this again.  It is tasty, nutritious and cheap so go ahead, buy some and try it.

Feeling full but not heavy and uncomfortable, I pottered about doing some chores at home, enjoying the sun coming out, albeit briefly.  My beautiful orange roses I received last week are just beginning to turn but they still look good and make me happy every time I pass them.

I dithered about a bit for supper.  I wanted to make fishcakes and was undecided as to whether to go for a comforting nursery style one or a more exotic Asian inspired one.  In the end I made a combination of both styles.  It was ok but I should have gone one way or the other.  This was a fishcake made with mashed potato, tuna, spring onion, one small onion, grated fresh ginger, finely chopped chilli and the zest and juice of half a lime.  I will share the recipe properly when I have perfected it because the taste was a little strange.   I covered the fishcake in a sprinkling of wholemeal flour before frying it and the outside was crispy and the inside was all moist.  The texture was perfect.  I just need to work on the flavour.

I served it with steamed carrots and broccoli.  I did eventually copy Harvey and added some ketchup to the fishcake.  Even including the dollop of ketchup and the tsp of butter I added to my vegetables, this dinner was only 11 WW points.

So an ok supper but a delicious lunch. And I have ended the day very low on points which will help to compensate for the extras I had yesterday.   I might make quinoa again tomorrow 🙂

About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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