Quinoa Recipe

Author: Dr. John M. Berardi, PhD and Dr. John K. Williams, PhD
For those among you who are bean averse, here is a chili recipe that replaces gassy legumes with quinoa. Why quinoa? Because it tastes great, and it is one of the most nutritious whole grains on the planet. Ostrich complements the robust flavors of quinoa, tomatoes, and spices. Ostrich is a red meat closer in taste and texture to beef than to chicken. If you can’t find it, ground turkey will do in a pinch. When you toss in a heap of veggies, you’re left with a stand-alone hearty, delicious, and highly nutritious meal that will satiate the appetite of two ravenous individuals. This recipe was also designed with busy individuals in mind, and can be completed in 30 minutes from start to finish.


1 lb. ground ostrich, or ground turkey
½ cup dry quinoa
3 cups water
1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste
½ medium onion
½ cup frozen corn kernels
½ package mixed frozen pepper strips
½ tsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp salt
Tabasco sauce, to taste


  1. Bring the quinoa to a boil in 3 cups water and a pinch of salt. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
  2. Brown the ground ostrich and onions in a nonstick skillet. Add the corn and peppers and toss over high heat until vegetables are thoroughly thawed and start to brown.
  3. By now, about 10-15 minutes should have elapsed since you started boiling the quinoa. Remove the lid from the quinoa and stir-in the tomato paste until mixed. Add the browned ostrich and vegetables, stir, and then add the spices. Mix completely, cover, and simmer on low heat for the remainder of the time, or until you have the desired consistency (should be fairly thick).

Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional information

Per Serving
Total Calories 700 k/cal
Protein 59
trong>g Total Carbohydrates 66 g   Fiber 11 g   Sugars 0 g Total Fat 17 g   Saturated 5.5 g   Monounsaturated 6.9 g   Polyunsaturated 4.2 g     Omega-3 0.2 g     Omega-6 3.0 g

Tip: Toasting your quinoa

For a smokier flavor, toast the quinoa before you boil it. This can be done in a dry nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pour the dry quinoa into the skillet (no oil), and stir continuously until the grains start to pop and you can smell a nice, toasty fragrance. This should not take longer than 3-5 minutes.

Food Fact: Quinoa, the Mother Grain

The ancient Incas called quinoa the “mother grain,” because they relied so heavily on its nutritive properties. Quinoa is gluten-free, and contains none of the allergens common to grains from the grass family such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, and corn. Furthermore, quinoa contains lysine, an amino acid deficient in many grains, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and B vitamins.

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