Quick Quinoa

salmon chowder

Spring has arrived and we have been feeling it in Sydney for a few weeks now so its time to put  away the slow cookers and crock pots and start to use lighter and quicker cooking methods. In Chinese medicine, spring represents the new beginning and I have been noticing plant life sprouting from winters slumber and flowers perfume filling the air on my early morning walks. Spring also represents the liver and gallbladder and it is a perfect time of the year to start a spring cleanse.

 This month we will be looking at the delightful grain Quinoa, it has become a popular little grain this year for its lightness and abundant mineral and protein profile. I use it often in my cooking particularly in salads, casseroles and congees. I first discovered this grain when I was living in Toronto, eight years ago, and working at a wonderful and delicious vegan restaurant . Quinoa started to appear on the menu I soon started to realise that deciding to live in Canada would be the best place to learn about health and food as it was and still is at the forefront of health and organic foods second from the USA. The Canadian also gave me insight on how to pronounce this grain Keen “ Wah, this is how I have always said it and often I hear people call it Quin- oa!

Quinoa is native to the Andes and the Incas revered it as their mother grain. This grain is a plant and because of the extreme climate in South America it is very hardy and can grow in the most extreme weather conditions. In Australia we have been getting four colours of this grain red, white brown and black. They look gorgeous if you use all four together. The colours all hold equal nutritional value.

Quinoa is considered a high energy grain and because it is so easy to digest and wheat, gluten free its ideal for allergies and special diets. Its energetic properties are warm and drying and it is strengthening for the kidneys. It also contains more protein than any other grain; it is a complete protein with an essential amino acid profile that has been compared to mothers milk.

Mineral wise it is high in B vitamins, iron and phosphorous. It cooks very quickly and the best way I have found to prepare it is 1 cup grain to 1 cup water (or chicken stock is delicious) Please enjoy my recipe, I love this dish and often have it for breakfast as it gives me a lot protein and energy to start off the day.

Salmon, quinoa and corn congee with broccoli

 4 pieces salmon, skinned and cut into small cubes

1corn cobs, dehusked

1 cup coconut milk (spiral brand)

1 cup white quinoa

2 cups dashi or fish stock

half bunch parsley, chopped

1 leek, white part sliced finely

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 broccoli floret, cut into pieces 


 Place coconut oil in a saucepan with leek and gently sauté

add in corn cob and gently fry for 5 minutes.

pour in stock, coconut milk and add quinoa and cook for 15 minutes on a simmer , when the Quinoa is ready it will have a spiral in which looks like  small coil, when you see this add the salmon for 5 minutes if the chowder needs more liquid add some water in a separate pot steam the broccoli.

Lastly stir through fresh parsley into the chowder and serve in a bowl with steamed broccoli

Preparation Tip This dish can be frozen and re heated, it is high in minerals and essential fatty acids and a very nutritional meal for the sick.

Happy Cooking!

Love Belinda


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Authors Website: http://www.theorganiccook.com.au

Profile: Belinda Randell is the owner and director of The Organic Cook. Belinda is a chef, cooking teacher and food educator She is inspired and passionate about ethical, sustainable biodynamic and organic food sources, fresh seasonal produce, health, nutrition and education. Belinda has recently appeared on the SBS Food Investigators designing a range of natural foods for children, she has also appeared in Madison and Harpers Bazaar magazine. Please go to Belinda's website for more info www.theorganiccook.com.au


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