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Quinoa: A Healthy Alternative.

My dad has been known to turn a little ‘Alf Garnett’ with regards to certain things and one of those that he has a particular, irrational dislike of is quinoa. I try to secret it under delicious stews, soups and curries but he can seek it out a mile off. A rant soon follows about how it’s taking over the work of perfectly good grains such as rice and wheat and has no place on the table!!

I, however, love the stuff. I like the way it pops slightly in your mouth and the way it soaks up the flavour of delicious stocks and stews to give them a hearty punch. I also love the fact that it is a protein and not a carbohydrate. It satisfies the need in me for a bit of stodge without the podge!! You still have to not overload on the stuff as I have been inclined to do before, thinking that it is nothing but healthy.

Quinoa is a wonderful alternative for people with gluten intolerances and can be used in place of many wheat-based products. I have a penchant for quinoa crackers for a little snack. Delicious topped with mashed avocado, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.

My lovely friend, Laraba, steered me towards salmon burgers made with quinoa as a substitute for breadcrumbs. They were so good and really not as fiddly as I thought. Try them with sweet potato chips (another food that can send my dad to orbit)

Basic Quinoa Recipe

Wash quinoa before use.

Cook over a low heat in stock, two times the volume of the quinoa for 10 – 15 minutes.

* Use instead of rice as a side to curries, stews and casseroles. Also a wonderful addition to soups to give them hearty depth or make a delicious salad with chopped vegetables, cold meats or cheese.

* I always have some quinoa in the fridge, ready to be added to any dish or thrown together with fried onions and minced meat and kale to make a delicious hash.

Quinoa Salmon Burgers


  • 3 to 4 spring onions, ends trimmed

  • 1 large handful fresh coriander, I have also used parsley

  • 1 teaspoon Herbamare or sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 700g raw wild salmon / bio, skinned and deboned

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa


Blend in an S-shaped-bladed blender in 3 batches:

  1. the spring onions, handful of coriander or parsley, salt/herbamere and ground black pepper. Set aside.

  2. Salmon until desired consistency

  3. Quinoa, until half smooth but leave part of it unblended

Mix together all ingredients and then form into patties.

Heat a large pan with coconut oil and cook on a medium-high heat until cooked. Turning occasionally.

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