GF Grains Part 1 – Quinoa

Who’s ready for another crazy-super food like the chia seed? Guys, meet quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) – quinoa is naturally gluten free, super easy to cook and delicious. It’s also a great energy food, so it works as breakfast, too! Here’s the lowdown on one of the top “new” health foods around:

  • Quinoa is considered by most to be a whole grain, but is actually a seed!
  • It can be prepared like whole grains, such as rice or barley.
  • It takes less time to cook than other whole grains – just 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Quinoa has a very high protein content, so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans, and provides all 9 essential amino acids.
  • Quinoa is gluten-free, cholesterol-free, a good source of dietary fiber and is easily digested.
  • This little guy was a staple food for thousands of years in the Andes region of South America.
  • Red quinoa (which actually turns browner in color when cooked) holds its shape better than the white version, so it’s great for salads. It’s also slightly nuttier in taste.
  • White quinoa is best in soups or casseroles, as it almost acts as a thickening agent.

This stuff is delicious all on its own – it has a slightly nutty flavor. If you’d like it straight, try this:

Old School Quinoa


Rinse the quinoa first.

To cook, bring one part quinoa and two parts liquid to a boil; cover and reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until the grains are translucent.

That’s it! You can also cook it in a rice cooker, if you have one handy.

Super Salad

Kale gets an invite to the party in this easy salad, perfect for warm summer nights or lunches by the pool.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed 
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, patted dry
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 fresh tangerines
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free low sodium tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons raw organic agave or brown rice syrup, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds


Fluff the cooked quinoa and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil to moisten. Then, prepare the kale (remove the rib, slice into ribbons, massage gently with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt).

Peel the tangerines and separate the wedges. Save half a tangerine for the juice.

Whisk the juice from half a tangerine with the tamari sauce, agave, ginger and garlic. Sprinkle over the kale and toss well, then add to the quinoa and mix ‘em up together.

Add the remaining tangerine wedges and a grind of black pepper. When you’re ready to dig in, add the roasted almonds and enjoy!

Quinoa-Is-The-New-Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl



  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh berries – anything you like!
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans (or your favorite nuts)
  • 1 cup milk of choice, divided (you can use almond, hemp or soy milk if you’d rather not do dairy)
  • 3 tablespoons honey, or more to taste, divided


Add rinsed quinoa, water and cinnamon to a saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil.

Once it boils, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Divide the quinoa between individual serving bowls. Top with the fresh berries, the toasted pecans, and milk.

Drizzle the honey over the top and serve warm.

What new health food trend are you guys curious about? Share with me below!




Photo credit: SalonMy Quinoa Nutrition, I Run on Nutrition,

Gourmet Dad
  • kap1289

    hi Dean, I eliminated gluten about 6 months ago from my diet. I discovered quinoa and how versitile it is and was in love! About a month ago I experienced some stomach issues and did not initially tie it to eating quinoa. I had another bad experience last week that I could definitely tie to the quinoa. After doing some research I discovered it was from the natural coating saponin. apparently once your body reacts to saponin, it rejects the quinoa and even if you start rinsing it, your body is still likely to reject it. I am hoping if I give myself a few months off the quinoa I can try reintroducing it. Please stress to people the importance of rinsing the quinoa until the water runs clean. I will definitely be saving this recipe for then!

  • SWalker

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I love Quinoa but can never get it to taste or look like what I buy premade. It is because I wasn’t using red. I have been vegan for 2 months now and this has become a staple for me!!! Thanks again!

  • Mrs. C

    Thanks for a GF food idea … need all the simple ideas I can get my hands on, as at times I find being GF is a bit overwhelming.

  • Jun Alapag

    i would love to eat the new oatmeal breakfast bowl. looks delicious and haven’t had one like that before. should taste delicious too. i think i should find that at a super market some where.

  • Dean McDermott

    Absolutely! Quinoa is available at most supermarkets, as well as places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

  • Dean McDermott

    I hear you, Mrs. C! Upcoming posts will have more GF tips and recipes, so stay tuned! :)

  • Dean McDermott

    Glad you enjoyed it – let us know how the vegan journey is going! :)

  • Dean McDermott

    Thank you for sharing this!!