Cooking Wine and Travel

Recipes For You

Garlic & Jalapeño Quinoa

Posted on October 21, 2012.


Quinoa (pronounced ken-wɑ) is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa grains are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. It´s not actually a grain since it´s not a member of the true grass family. Quinoa is a flowering plant closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds.

Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, where it has been a staple of the local diet for at least 4,000 years. The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred,referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or ´mother of all grains´, and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using ´golden implements.

Quinoa has tremendous nutritional value, with a very high protein content (14% by mass), and it´s a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.

Quinoa cooked by itself has an almost nutty flavor and is similar in texture to couscous. I prefer to cook quinoa with a variety of flavors that pair with the main course that I plan to serve with it. This particular version was created as a side dish for my Jalapeño Honey Glazed Lamb Chops (see recipe).


1 cup quinoa grains
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 jalapeño, diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste


In a pre-heated pot on medium to high heat, add the olive oil and cook onions until translucent (about 3-5 minutes).  

Add jalapeños and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes more.  

Mix in 1/4 cup chicken broth, salt and pepper and let completely cook down (about 4 minutes), then add the quinoa and remaining chicken broth.  

Bring to boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook on low heat for 20 minutes.

Remove lid , turn off the heat and gently mix in the cilantro. Let stand for 5 minutes and serve.


View Comments (0)

Posted By: Chief Foodie Officer