Recipes: Keep this resolution to eat healthy with 3 quinoa dishes

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Makes 4 servings

Ají amarillo, an orange-yellow chili with a fruity but earthy flavor, is omnipresent in Peruvian cuisine. Fresh peppers are hard to find in the United States, but ají amarillo paste, sold in jars, is available in well-stocked markets and specialty stores. The batter is the key to the deep, spicy flavor of this chowder. If you can’t find it, use 1 or 2 minced jalapeños instead (if desired, seed the jalapeños for a milder heat). The soup is especially good made from fresh, seasonal corn, but frozen corn kernels can be substituted. Serve with a simple salad of shredded cabbage, sliced ​​avocado and crumbled queso fresco.

Remember to rinse the quinoa to remove the natural saponin which gives it a bitter taste. But check the packaging first, as some quinoa come pre-washed.

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

¼ cup ají amarillo paste (see note)

3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

8 ounces of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch (1½ cup) pieces

1½ cup of corn kernels

¾ cup of quinoa, preferably red, rinsed and drained (see note)

1¼ pints (5 cups) low sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint, chopped

Lime wedges, for serving

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil until it sparkles. Add onion and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the ají amarillo paste, oregano, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the sweet potato, corn, quinoa and broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and quinoa are tender, 16 to 19 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Off the heat, add the cream. Pour into bowls, sprinkle with mint and serve with lime wedges.

Quinoa Cakes With Gruyere And HerbsConnie Miller / from CB Creatives

Quinoa Cakes With Gruyere And Herbs

Makes 4 servings

These seared quinoa cakes can be served with a side or made into sandwiches by sliding them into buns with toppings. To cook enough quinoa to make cakes, in a large pot, bring 1½ cups of water and ½ cup of quinoa (rinsed and drained) to a boil. Stir in 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, place a towel on the pan, cover and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let cool to room temperature.

2 large eggs

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

1½ cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature (see note)

2 green onions, finely chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon or dill or a combination

3 ounces of Gruyère or Gouda cheese or smoked Gouda cheese, grated (¾ cup)

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of neutral oil

Mayonnaise mixed with chopped fresh herbs (optional, for garnish)

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add the panko and mix until moistened; set aside for 15 minutes. To the panko-egg mixture, add the quinoa, green onions, tarragon, cheese, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Mix by hand, then form four 3-inch patties, pressing down firmly to hold together. In a 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat the oil until it sparkles. Add the patties and cook until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Serve with mayonnaise, if using.

Quinoa Chaufa

Makes 4 servings

The influx of Chinese immigrants to Peru in the 19th and 20th centuries gave birth to chifa cuisine, a fusion of Peruvian and Cantonese cuisine. Chaufa, a popular dish of chifa, is fried rice, but it’s not uncommon to see quinoa-based versions.

For our version, you can use store-bought ready-to-eat quinoa; you will need two 8.8-ounce packets (make sure the sodium content is no more than about 250 mg per serving). Or to cook on your own, in a large pot, bring 3 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa (rinsed and drained) to a boil. Stir in 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, place a towel on the pan, cover and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let cool to room temperature.

3 tablespoons of neutral oil

1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced, white and green reserved separately

2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger

2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated

1 medium red pepper, hulled, seeded and chopped, or 1 cup frozen edamame, peeled or a combination

4 cups cooked quinoa, room temperature (see note)

¼ cup soy sauce

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

chopped scrambled eggs or toasted sesame oil or both (optional, for garnish)

In a 12-inch non-stick skillet, add the oil and heat until it sparkles. Add the green onion whites, ginger and garlic, then cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper begins to soften. Add the quinoa and soy sauce, then cook, stirring, until the quinoa absorbs the soy and is heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with green onion leaves. Top with scrambled eggs and / or sesame oil, if using.


Christopher Kimball is the founder of Milk Street, which is home to a magazine, a school, and radio and TV shows. Globe readers get 12 weeks of full digital access, plus two issues of the print magazine Milk Street, for just $ 1. Go to 177milkstreet.com/globe. Send your comments to [email protected]

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