Quinoa is a Bolivian staple, second only to the potato.  Our missioners in Bolivia have become more acquainted with this highly-nutritious grain, and today we share one of their recipes in honor of the ongoing celebration, “International Year of Quinoa.”

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa,” in recognition the Andean people that have managed to preserve quinoa in its natural state as food for present and future generations through  7,000-year ancestral practices of living in harmony with nature.

There are hopes that this “gift from the Andes” can be used to address world poverty and hunger in communities suffering from food insecurities by not only providing protein and nutrients, but job opportunities for small farmers. As you prepare your own quinoa meal, keep those communities in prayer.

Original quinoa recipe by lay missioner Kitzi Hendricks

Here is missioner Kitzi Hendricks’ recipe for quinoa that she created during her time in Bolivia:

“It is one of my favorite meals and is rich in protein, veggies, and calcium (if cheese is added). Sorry that it isn’t exact, but I just kind of do it by feel.

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 mini onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
Peanuts
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Salt and pepper
Chili powder
Cheese (Mozzarella would work)
Note: To make it gluten-free leave out the soy sauce; to make it vegan leave out the cheese.

  • Mix one cup of quinoa with two cups of water in a pot (2:1 ratio). Put a dash of salt and bring to a boil.
  • When it comes to a boil, cover and lessen heat to a simmer. You can stir it during the process (unlike rice!)
  • Concurrently chop and peel onion, carrot, green pepper, garlic, and cucumber (in that order)
  • The onion will start to flavor the quinoa as it boils. The carrot goes in next because it needs to soften and cook with the quinoa. The green pepper (for the same reason). Garlic = flavor. Cucumber last so that it isn’t too mushy! You can also add the cucumber in at the end.
  • Add black pepper so that it seeps in as the quinoa cooks.
  • When there is still about an inch or two of water at the bottom, add soy sauce and a little bit of sesame oil to the remaining water.
  • Add chili powder. Cover.
  • Wait until water has fully dissolved.
  • Cube a slice of Mozzarella cheese and mix it in with the quinoa dish while it is still really hot and can melt fully into the dish!
  • Add peanuts.”

Do you have a favorite way to prepare quinoa? We’d love to hear about it! 

    This recipe was originally published on Kitzi’s blog – check it out to see what else she is up to in Cochabamba, Bolivia. To support her ministries abroad, please make a donation.