First posted: Apr 27, 2015

Quinoa Bounty Bowls


We all know by now that quinoa is one of the latest ‘super foods’ to take the world by storm. It’s packed full of all kinds of goodness, high in protein, calcium, iron and fiber (among many others) and low in fat. It’s t’s also wonderfully accommodating of almost any flavour combination that you can throw at it – an ideal blank canvas for any meal. And actually, it’s almost ‘last season’ already and the world of the uber healthy has some other new favourites (Farro! Buckwheat! Spelt!). And actually (again), this recipe worlks well with almost all ‘super grains’ – because, what could possibly go wrong when you team up a whole bowl-ful of nature’s bounty in the form of glorious green veg, mushrooms and avocado and then sprinkle over a little halo of cheese and fresh herbs and add the creamy al-dente crunchy nuttiness of the quinoa?

Quinoa finds its roots in the Andean areas of South America and has been an important staple in their diet for over 3000 years. It was beloved of the Incas, and they called it ‘The Mother of all Grains’. It’s price has tripled in the last 7 years, which means it’s not necessarily that budget friendly. It’s also caused complications with availability and accessibility to the people who have been growing it for centuries, but with lots of delicious healthy bits added in, like I’ve suggested below, a little bit goes a long way. I have also heard that it’s now being grown further afield such as Canada, which hopefully bodes well for the price coming down and availability going up.

Coming up in my next book, HOME (on sale from July in SA), I’ll show you how to turn a little bit of quinoa into a whole lot of breakfast goodness with my pretty little quinoa breakfast bowls.



Cooks in:        Serves:4

  • 1 cup red or white quinoa
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 100g soft goats cheese (or feta)
  • Small handful mixed fresh herbs, roughly chopped (I like mint, basil, parsley)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

What to do

1. Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions, adding in the spinach leaves and peas for the last 1-2 minutes of cooking. Drain and tip into a serving bowl. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

2. While the quinoa cooks, fry your mushrooms over medium-high heat with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and a knob of butter if you like. Remove from the heat and add to the quinoa.

3. Stir everything through with a fork (this stops the grains all sticking together), top with the chopped avocado and sprinkle over the crumbled goats cheese and herbs. Drizzle over the lemon juice and a little extra olive oil, season with salt and pepper and serve.

PS This recipe is an update of my 'Herbed Quinoa Salad' that we featured in #BittenTV and this photo was styled by Luisa Farelo Hayes and shot by Chris Lotz.

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