By Carolyn Hemming, co-author Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood (2010 Whitecap Publishers)

The superfood quinoa is your answer to super meals, super fast! Gluten-free, high protein, maximum nutrition, kid-approved and under 30 minutes? It is possible!

What is QUINOA? Pronounced keen-wa, it is an extraordinary superfood that has become increasingly popular because of its high protein and maximum nutrition… it cooks up the same as rice, but with super nutrition and in half the time!

This powerful little seed has more recently garnered interest from those not only seeking superior nutrition, but those with food allergies, on high-protein diets, seeking weight loss or those just wanting to eat better quality foods. Quinoa is completely gluten-free and an ideal non-animal protein source for vegetarians. It is a complex carbohydrate, has a low glycemic index and is full of iron, fiber, calcium, folic acid, and more! It is also abundant in linolenic acid, the essential fatty acid that has proven to benefit the immune response. Quinoa contains a complete combination of all life supporting nutrients, containing all eight essential amino acids, a balance that makes it highly digestible and completely unique in the plant kingdom.

Quinoa has a myriad of benefits, such as its ability to promote weight loss, build muscle, alleviate migraine headaches, help diabetes, promote cardiovascular health and prevent hardening of the arteries.. and more! This incredible superfood has also been linked to helping prevent breast cancer, childhood asthma, gallstones and acts as a super antioxidant.

The versatility of quinoa makes it compatible with almost everything you eat throughout the year. Soups, salads, entrées and desserts can all be made with quinoa and taste great. It is very easy to prepare, regardless of your cooking ability. There are many quinoa recipes you can prepare in 30 minutes or less, here is one of our favorites!

Hearty Beans and Greens Stew

This tasty, one-pot stew is fast to make when you’re short on time. This recipe is gluten-free, kid-approved and is easily modified to be vegetarian—just use vegetable stock and omit the meat. Serves 4-6.


4 cups (1 L) chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup (250 mL) diced onion

½ cup (125 mL) quinoa

¾ tsp (4 mL) dried oregano

1 tsp (5 mL) minced fresh garlic

1 bay leaf

2 cups (500 mL) cooked red kidney beans

2 cups (500 mL) cooked navy beans

2 cups (500 mL) chopped spinach, kale or

Swiss chard leaves

2 cups (500 mL) diced rotisserie chicken or

diced cooked low-fat Italian sausage

Pinch ground black pepper

Salt to taste


Combine the stock, onion, quinoa, oregano, garlic and bay leaf in a large saucepan and

bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and add the kidney beans, navy beans and spinach.

Cook until the spinach has wilted. Stir in the chicken, season with salt and pepper and serve. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days.

Share your experience with quinoa or your favorite quinoa recipes!

Sisters Carolyn Hemming and Patricia Green are authors of Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood. Health conscious, family-oriented and physically active, they constantly seek healthy foods and recipes that can provide the right amount of energy, great taste, nutrition and portability.  Their book shows you that incorporating healthy alternatives into your everyday lifestyle is simple when you use quinoa. The versatility of this superfood makes it easy to bridge the gap between already established eating habits and increasingly nutritious food choices.

Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood is available at and all bookstores.