top of page

Keen Wah (Quinoa)

Quinoa pronounced Keen-Wah, is a versatile seed that is used as a grain. It can be used to replace rice, oatmeal, couscous, and more. It’s gluten-free, and also is a complete protein, in that it has all the essential amino acids that our body can’t make. This super versatile food like most grain type foods picks up the flavour of the broth or seasoning’s it’s cooked in, on its own kind of bland. With twice the protein content of rice or barley, quinoa is also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, and manganese, it even decent levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and its high in dietary fibre. It’s one of the least allergenic of all the “grains,” making it a great wheat-free choice.

“Never eat ingredients you can’t pronounce. Expect Quinoa. Eat Quinoa!”

Unknown source

Quinoa has an interesting history in that the Inca Emperor would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using gold instruments; the United Nations has declared it a super food and NASA has fed it to crews on space travel.

I’ve used it in salads, chili, and as a breakfast cereal. I’ve had some pretty good success cooking with it. If you are interested in trying it out before buying it, the Farmboy kitchen has a good quinoa chili, and also some great quinoa salads. I’ve had the quinoa breakfast bowl at Copper Branch and loved it. Costco also has a great grab and go Quinoa Salad and it’s also a great place to buy affordable Quinoa.

I found this recipe while googling quinoa chili recipes and it’s an easy great tasting dish that freezes well.

SWEET POTATO & QUINOA CHILLI Ingredients (serves 6) • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed • 1 can (15 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes or 1 1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste • 1 large sweet potato, diced (with or without the skin…I leave the skin on) • 1 cup dry quinoa • 1 onion, diced • 5 – 6 garlic cloves, minced • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder • 1 tablespoon cumin • 1 teaspoon dried oregano • A few dashes of garlic powder • A few dashes of onion powder • salt to taste • 4 cups (32 oz) water or vegetable broth, + more as needed Garnish with avocado, cilantro, lime (optional)

In large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, cook until soft and they start to turn brown (about 7 – 10 minutes). Add garlic, cook for another minute or so. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder, cook for 2 more minutes stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, liquids, beans and sweet potato, stir until combined. Add quinoa, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover slightly ajar and cook for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chili is ready when sweet potatoes are tender. Add additional water if chili is too thick for your liking. Notes: As with all recipes, adjust seasoning to taste. Recipe from

bottom of page