Super Simple Quinoa


During the month of October, a great food blogger, Andrew Wilder, writer of Eating Rules, has challenged the food blogging community to commit to eating unprocessed food. In short, that means that if you cannot make a food in your kitchen (even if it takes a little bit of effort) than you cannot eat it. If you are eating healthy and gluten-free already, this challenge might not seem too challenging. This super simple quinoa certainly is a great side dish to try out during the month of October Unprocessed!

If you look at your local grocery store, I promise that you will find quinoa. I usually buy mine at Trader Joe’s but this week I was tempted (again) by the bulk bins at Earth Fare and couldn’t resist this multi-colored version. Quinoa is not a grain, although if you look at it in this picture, I am sure you think that it looks like one. Quinoa is a plant primarily harvested in South America and it has been grown for centuries. When you see it packaged in a store, it usually resembles couscous – a pale yellow or white color because the delicate shells from the seeds have been removed. When I saw this multi-colored quinoa, I had to give it a try because it looks far less processed than what I am used to seeing.

I am so happy that I took a chance on this beautiful chenopod selection! In about 20 minutes, I had a pot of some of the most delicious quinoa I have ever tasted. The kiddos agreed. Baby R ate an entire bowl of it – and banged on the table for more. I call that an unequivocal success.


1 cup quinoa
4 cloves garlic, diced

Super Simple Quinoa

1/2 large onion, chopped
Swirl of olive oil
2 cups of water

Easy How-To:

Saute the garlic and onion in a little bit of olive oil and then add the quinoa and a little bit of salt. Stir to coat the quinoa and let it cook for a minute or two. Add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Let it cook for about 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed and your little quinoa buds have popped open.

We served our quinoa under sliced eggplant baked in a delicious tomato sauce. Yum! This easy side dish will go with just about anything. Give it a try!

An additional reading suggestion … 
If you would like to read an interesting article about the impact of skyrocketing quinoa sales on the indigenous people in South America who grow it, click here … New York Times article about quinoa.

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

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