Q is for Quinoa: A Protein Rich Ancient Grain!

Third week of the A to Z April Blog Challenge and I am running out of ideas or is it the letter Q? With all the buzz lately around Quinoa and it’s health benefits, I figured Q would be the ideal post showcasing Quinoa. Not to mention, my growing 14-year-old son who has taken upon himself to invent a diet exclusively for his needs; the result is a protein rich diet without any carbohydrate servings especially during evening meals. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Well, that should be music to my son’s ears and hopefully tonight he will grace us with his presence for dinner.

After browsing the net, I came across various salad recipes but personally I prefer to eat a warm cooked meal, especially for dinner. Finally, I came across a recipe on Bon Appettit magazine for a meatloaf. Typically meat loaf uses bread or bread crumbs as a binder. Quinoa should work as the perfect binder while adding its unique protein rich properties to the dish. Since, meatloaf tends to be a little bland for our Indian palate, I decided to make a spiced base barbeque sauce to accompany this dish.

Quinoa Meatloaf with Spicy BBQ Sauce


  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground white-meat turkey
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup kale, shocked, blanched, and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Spicy barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Saute onion till translucent, add carrot, celery, and peppers and cook until soft. Set aside and let cool.Cook quinoa per box instructions.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey, quinoa, cooked vegetables, kale, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well by hand until thoroughly combined.
  4. Shape mixture into one loaf. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush with barbecue sauce and bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Let cool. Slice and serve.

The BBQ sauce I made was rather spicy. Perhaps next time I will remove the dry chilis before I puree the sauce. Have you tried Quinoa? I enjoyed the nutty flavor of plain Quinoa. I look forward to using it in more dishes.

Happy Healthy Eating!!


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