Tuesday, October 2, 2012

500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury- Cookbook review

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has received a lot of attention in the last few years. People that want to add more healthy grains to their diet, or just have a different sort of flavor definitely want to try quinoa. It is known as one of nature's superfood powerhouses! I first discovered it on the shelf at my local Sprouts. By far the coolest thing about quinoa is it's versatility. You can use it for nearly anything from a replacement for rice to a gluten free flour for baked goods. It's flavor is a bit on the nutty side and it comes in several different forms- seeds, flakes or flour. Quinoa is a fantastic grain for vegans, vegetarian, flexitarians and anyone affected by a gluten intolerance.

Quinoa is popular for it's massive amounts of protein- it includes all of the essential amino acids humans need. It is also naturally gluten free, which makes it a great option for people with Celiac Disease or gluten or wheat sensitivities. Something that I find really interesting about quinoa is that it is being hailed as a food of the future- because of it's hardiness and high yield, it is being considered a possible relief crop for battling famine and malnutrition. This coupled along with the fact that it can be grown in almost any condition makes me think that it definitely might be a future key player in fighting hunger.

I have been using quinoa pretty regularly for the past year or so, but was getting kind of bored with my stand by recipes, so I was super excited to come across Camilla V Saulsbury's 500 Best Quinoa Recipes. There are recipes in every category imaginable and it is a great cookbook for quinoa lovers or novices alike. The beginning of the book is devoted to teaching about the different forms of quinoa and different things you can do with it. I love that this book came with some instruction because although quinoa has been a staple in my house for a while, I am always looking for new things to do in the kitchen, so the more I learn about quinoa's versatility the better for my family and the more variety that is in our menu.

We have tried several recipes out of this book over the past few weeks and have enjoyed most everything we have had! Here are some of our families favorites:

Andean Hash
Quinoa Cashew Power Balls
Quinoa Pilaf
Black Bean Quinoa Chipotle Chili
Cinnamon Raisin Cookies
Quinoa Almond Butter Blondies (although I used peanut butter...they were still delicious!)

Here are a few recipes from the book:

Black Bean Quinoa Chipotle Chili (page 184)

No one will ask, “Where’s the beef?” when sampling this incredibly delicious vegetarian dish. Simmering hearty black beans and quinoa with onions, garlic, herbs and spices creates a wonderfully complex chili that’s finished with fresh lime and topped off with tangy yogurt and an assortment of fresh flourishes.

If using the larger 19-oz (540 mL) cans of beans, you may want to add up to 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) vegetable broth or water to thin the chili.

Storage Tip
Store the cooled chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in the microwave using the Defrost function. Warm chili in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat.

2 tsp vegetable oil 10 mL
2 cups chopped onions 500 mL
4 cloves garlic, minced 4
3 tbsp chili powder 45 mL
11⁄2 tbsp ground cumin 22 mL
2 tsp dried oregano 10 mL
11⁄2 tsp chipotle chile powder 7 mL
3 cans (each 14 to 19 oz/398 to 540 mL) 3
black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup quinoa, rinsed 250 mL
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) crushed tomatoes 1
3 cups ready-to-use reduced-sodium vegetable 750 mL
or chicken broth (GF, if needed)
1 tbsp finely grated lime zest 15 mL
1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 60 mL
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plain Greek yogurt 250 mL
Suggested Accompaniments:
Fresh cilantro leaves
Chopped green onions
Chopped radishes
Crumbled queso fresco

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano and chipotle chile powder; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
2. In a small bowl, coarsely mash one-third of the beans with a potato masher or fork. Stir mashed beans, whole beans, quinoa, tomatoes and broth into the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 30 minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in lime zest and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve topped with yogurt and any of the suggested accompaniments, as desired.

Makes 8 servings

Excerpted from 500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Photos by Colin Erricson. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

My twin 3 year old boys were asking for second helpings of the chili. It was a big hit at our house. It was also very filling, like the description above says, you won't even miss the meat!

Quinoa Almond Butter Blondies (page 482)

The brownie has legions of loyal fans, but the blondie has equally steadfast enthusiasts. The reasons are clearer than ever with this quinoa interpretation: a chewy, nutty butterscotch bar, enriched with cashew butter and highly transportable to boot.

Other natural nut or seed butters, such as peanut, almond or sunflower, or tahini, may be used in place of the cashew butter.

Storage Tip
Store the cooled blondies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

• Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
• 8-inch (20 cm) square metal baking pan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray

11⁄4 cups quinoa flour 300 mL
1 tsp baking powder (GF, if needed) 5 mL
1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt 2 mL
1⁄2 cup unsweetened natural almond butter 125 mL
1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, softened 60 mL
1 cup natural cane sugar or packed light brown 250 mL
1⁄2 cup brown rice syrup or pure maple syrup 125 mL
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (GF, if needed) 5 mL

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat almond butter and butter until fluffy. Beat in sugar and brown rice syrup until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just blended.
3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 28 to 32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

Makes 16 blondies

Excerpted from 500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Photos by Colin Erricson. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. These were so delicious. I love the fact that I can have dessert that isn't too terrible for me and it still tastes really good!!

About the Author: Camilla Saulsbury is a food writer, recipe developer, cooking instructor and fitness trainer! She has been featured on the Food Network, in the New York Times, and on Today and QVC and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She also holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Indian University with a specialization in food studies.
Purchase your own copy of 500 Best Quinoa Recipes!

*Disclaimer- I received a complimentary copy of this book via Robert Rose Publishing. I was not required to render a positive review. All opinions stated are 100% my own.


  1. a beautiful blog with wonderful recipies.

    1. Thank you! I am glad you enjoy it! :)

  2. Those cookies sound amazing and so does the chili! YUMMY!

    1. The chili definitely was. I use flakes for qunioa raisin cookies and they come out pretty good, just kind of a different spin/taste on an oatmeal raisin cookie! :)

  3. I've been wondering how in the world you pronounced that! (Quinoa)... I still have to say it slowly to get it right..haha!
    My hubby is EXTREMELY picky, but I've been so curious and want to try it. Do they sell it at big grocery chains?

    1. It is definitely available at Kroger! However, I would recommend if you have a Sprouts near to get it there because you can get it out of the bulk bin, so you can get a little bit to see what you think before you commit to buying a full package of it. I get mine at Costco and it lasts forever, but it is a HUGE package!

      Have you ever heard of acai berry? I do the same slow pronouncing of that word! lol (uh-sigh-ee)