Coconut Quinoa Chia Pudding

29 06 2015

quinoa chia pudding

Do you remember when people first started talking about Quinoa? No one could pronounce it. KWEE-NOA? CHI-NO? KEEN-WAH? There in it’s protein-packed glory this seed (yes, it’s actually a seed, not a grain) sat on the shelf and I looked at it, wondering what the heck I’d make with it. Since then, I’ve realized its versatility: pancakes, casseroles, salads, and the ever so simple side.


Then the chia seed trend came along and everyone went gaga over the health benefits of a little seed was formerly only known for making your clay pot grow “hair”. Food bloggers started putting them in smoothies and then making “pudding.” The current trend now seems to be jelly.

I still haven’t mastered the art of the chia seed pudding. Mine is always too runny; not the beautiful fluffy, creamy pudding that I see posted everywhere. I think it’s because I’m too stingy with those darn seeds. They’re expensive! Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and buy all the Chia heads and hoard the seeds. I wonder if that would be cheaper…

chia head

Anyhow, the other day I made some quinoa for a salad and of course I made too much- which isn’t a bad thing- it’s actually something I always intentionally do when making quinoa. I would advise you to do the same! Once the quinoa is cooked, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days and use it for other deliciousness. And obviously, it saves you the time to cook (which is only 15 minutes) and the cooling, if you aren’t planning to serve it hot.

So I opened my fridge to make myself an evening snack and saw this prepared quinoa and an opened can of light coconut milk. (The coconut milk had been an attempt at making coconut whipped cream but duh, you can’t use the light kind, you need the full fat. #Fail) Immediately my brain went to tomorrow’s breakfast. Let’s do a take on overnight oats/chia pudding using quinoa and coconut milk!

coconut chia pudding 2

I could hardly wait for breakfast the next morning; and man, I was not disappointed! And bonus- this breakfast kept me full for hours. No mid-morning snack was necessary!

So, next time you make some quinoa, save some for this yummy breakfast treat!

Coconut Quinoa Chia Pudding

coconut quinoa chia pudding


1.5 cups prepared quinoa, cooled
~1/2 can of light coconut milk (from a can)
2 TBS chia seeds
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup blueberries (more if you like)
Optional toppings:

shredded coconut
crushed almonds

How to:

Put the quinoa in a bowl, jar, or other container with a lid (I used a small pyrex bowl)- the container should not be “just” big enough. You need some space!

Add the coconut milk to the quinoa to just cover it completely. Then add just a tiny bit more.

Add the vanilla, chia seeds, and blueberries and stir it all together.

Refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, top with shredded coconut, almonds, and honey. (Of the three, you’ll likely want the honey for some sweetness!)

coconut chia pudding

Broccoli, Mushroom, Quinoa Casserole

3 04 2013

One of my favorite side dishes that my mom makes every Easter is her Broccoli Cheese Bake.

Broccoli Cheese Bake

It’s one of those cheesy, creamy, delicious dishes that requires just about everything unhealthy: sour cream, loads of cheese, and condensed cream of mushroom soup. But that’s what makes it taste great, right?


Unfortunately, this year I didn’t go home to enjoy it or any of the other deliciousness that she cooks up 😦 Instead I was here in Tampa, just me and the kitties:-) So, I decided to make a recipe my friend Courtney has been telling me about- a Mushroom Quinoa Casserole from The Best Remedy Blog. I made a few swaps with the ingredients I had on hand: broccoli instead of kale, and goat cheese instead of sour cream. When it was all said and done, I had a yummy and healthy casserole- which was hearty enough to be a meal in itself, or a great side dish. The surprising bonus: it ended up tasting similar to my mom’s broccoli cheese bake!  Though it wasn’t oozing with cheese, the flavor was similar and I didn’t feel guilty about loading up on an extra large second helping!


So, if you’re looking for a great side dish for your next family gathering, try this out!

Mushroom Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Broccoli Mushroom Quinoa Casserole

Adapted from The Best Remedy Blog


1.5 cups of dry quinoa
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
1/2 pound baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 heaping cup broccoli, cut into tiny florets
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 large eggs
1 cup cottage cheese (I used reduced fat)
4 ounces (a small log) goat cheese (allow to soften)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)


How to:

Prepare the quinoa. The ratio is typically 2:1 water to quinoa. So in a pot, combine 3 cups water and 1.5 cups quinoa. Turn on the stove and allow the water to start to boil. When it starts to boil, turn the heat down to low and cover. The quinoa should be ready in about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Spray a baking dish (I used a 9 x 9 square dish) with olive oil or butter spray and set aside.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil. Then saute the onions until they are translucent.  Add in the mushrooms and allow them to brown a little and release some of their juices.  Stir every minute or so. Add the broccoli, and let it just begin to cook- it should turn brighter green!  Stir in the garlic, cook for another minute until fragrant and remove from heat.

Add the quinoa to the pan and stir until combined.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, goat cheese, red pepper flakes and salt.

Add the quinoa mixture to the cottage cheese mixture and stir until combined. Pour into your greased baking dish.

Sprinkle with 2/3 of the Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 or 30 minutes more, or until it is hot throughout and golden along the edges. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve!


29 06 2011

A special thanks to Chloe from Running with a Bottle of Wine for her awesome post while Chloe of 321delish is out in California! With my recent mishap at Rock Hall, Chloe’s post really resonated with me. Triathlon is a lifestyle, not just a race. So true!

Anyhow, let’s shift gears and talk about quinoa. No, not “Queen Noah,” it’s “Keen-Wah.” Yes, it took me a very long time to figure out how to pronounce Q-U-I-N-O-A. So, I’m just trying to help you out. 🙂

Recently, some of my favorite bloggers have been whipping up some recipes with quinoa, so I figured I’d get in on the action too!

First things first, what is quinoa, you ask? Many folks group it with grains, but it’s actually a seed. It’s jam packed with nutrients, pretty high in protein, and it’s also gluten-free! I typically buy my quinoa in the bulk section, and I’d advise you to do the same. I’ve seen it in a box for about 5 bucks, but you can buy the same amount in the bulk section for way less!

I love quinoa because it tastes great, it’s fast-cooking, and its so versatile. I find it great if you need to throw together a quick summer meal.

So, I thought I’d share with you the ways I’ve used quinoa in the past week or so.

I’ve cooked it in white wine, and served it alongside some fish:

I stir-fried some cooked quinoa together with some peanut sauce, edamame and egg, added some shredded cabbage, and served it in leaves of Romaine, for a protein-packed lettuce wrap:

I made my own peanut sauce just by mixing together some soy sauce, honey, peanut butter, and rice wine vinegar. I would suggest Kristin’s peanut sauce if you are looking for a recipe. And, Mama Pea has never let me down, and she just posted a recipe for Peanut Mmmm Sauce, which I’m sure is outstanding.

Finally, I made it into a salad with beets, goat cheese, fennel, and almonds:

My Flavor Bible told me that orange pairs well with fennel, so I cooked the quinoa in orange juice, and added some zest. Next time, I think I would even put some pieces of orange in there too.

So those are just a few of my ideas for ways to use quinoa.

For some tips and step by step instructions on how to cook it (it’s super easy), check out Catilin’s post.

And, if you want some more recipes check out these:

Emily made Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Jenna made a Black Bean, Quinoa and Citrus Salad

Beth made Goat Cheese and Beet Quinoa Salad, which is what I based my last recipe on.

Question of the day: Have you ever eaten quinoa? What have you made with it? What do you think would be a good quinoa salad?