Quinoa for Passover

Quinoa for Passover

This week’s blog entry was submitted by guest blog contributor Waltraud Unger, a board certified holistic health and nutrition coach and a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. An active member of Temple Israel and JCC in Ridgewood, she will be speaking about “Why Food Matters” at the synagogue on Sunday, May 1 at 10:30 a.m. For event information, call (201) 444-9320. To reach Waltraud, e-mail waltraud.unger@verizon or www.UnfoldingU.com.

During the week of Passover I welcome the addition of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) to our meal plan more than any other time of year. Quinoa allows for a chance of pace from the usual matzoh-derived products while still satisfying the dietary guidelines. (Check with your authority.) While quinoa is widely considered a grain, it’s actually the seed of a plant called Chenopodium or Goosefoot, related to chard and spinach. Quinoa is gluten-free and similar to whole grains in stabilizing blood sugar.

It’s a nutritional powerhouse with ancient origins and was originally cultivated by the Incas more than 5,000 years ago. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a great source of protein for vegetarians and is high in magnesium, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, riboflavin, and zinc.

Quinoa has a waxy protective coating called saponin, which can leave a bitter taste. For best results, rinse quinoa before you cook it. When cooked, it has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture and reminds me of couscous. Try it in soups, salads, as a breakfast porridge, or as a side dish.

Chag Sameach!- WG

Quinoa Pilaf with Oranges, Cranberries, and Walnuts

Yield: 4 servings


1 1/2 cups dry-roasted quinoa
2 1/2 cups veggie broth
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 navel oranges, zested
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste


Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.Combine broth, oil, and quinoa, bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to low, cooking for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Fluff with a fork and toss in orange zest, cranberries, parsley, and toasted walnuts. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

To dry roast quinoa heat a sauté pan over medium heat, add quinoa and roast, stirring lightly, until starting to turn golden brown and fragrant.

Hot Quinoa Breakfast Cereal

Yield: 4 servings


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 cups whole milk or almond milk
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cinnamon


Bring water and quinoa to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is tender and mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. While quinoa is cooking bring the milk, ginger, and cinnamon to a simmer over low heat. Pour spiced milk over quinoa and drizzle with honey if desired.

Optional: Add some chopped walnuts, grated apple, or dried fruit to the finished cereal.

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