Spanish Quinoa

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

I am just so excited to share with you today’s recipe!  But before I get to the recipe, I want to give a BIG FAT Thank you to Erin from Big Fat Baker!  Thanks to you and your Holiday Recipe Club my Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing that I made for Buddhas Birthday made Foodbuzz’s top 9!  Woohoo!!  It’s you that helped me create that dish, so thank you!  That made my day!!

So today’s Holiday Recipe Club Hop we had our choice to use dulce de leche, tomatoes, and chorizo.  I chose tomatoes because I love them, there plentiful and there one of my favorite fruits.  Now I was going to use chorizo, but my Husband said it’s fatty and I”d probably die from the calories, so I said no, and I’m trying to stay away from sweets so I didn’t use the dulce de leche, but tomatoes are something I can create with.  Now you know I use a lot of tomatoes in my dishes, but I really had a hard time thinking of what I could make for Cinco de Mayo that used tomatoes.  I could have gone with salsa, but I’ve done that, I thought of tacos ect… But I wanted something different that I have never done before, so came Spanish Quinoa.

I don’t know if Quinoa is Spanish, I am not even sure where it comes from, but because I was on my detox I couldn’t use rice, but you can for this recipe.  This was the first time I ever had or cooked with quinoa and I love it!  This dish was so perfect!  It’s tastes just like Spanish Rice!  I am looking so forward to creating other dishes with quinoa.  If you have never had it, you should.  It’s kind of has a slight chewiness to it.  Honestly, I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s kind of funny looking, yet cool looking.

The recipe for Spanish Quinoa is pretty simple and quick.  I think it took me about 20 minutes to make it and the ingredients are pretty much household staples.  This goes wonderful as a side dish with tacos, chicken or just as a healthy salad for lunch.  I gave a cup to my friend at work who never had quinoa and she loved it.  She said the flavors of the sauce, onions and peppers, went together so well, that she didn’t even realize she was eating quinoa.  She was sold on the grain and now she plans on buying some and trying out this recipe.

If your interested in joining the Holiday Recipe Club go here, to get more information.  It’s a wonderful club and whats nice is Erin has put a calendar for all the upcoming holidays and ingredients we can use, so you can plan ahead.  I love that!!  After I post this, I am going to see what is coming up next.  Now only if I would update my calendar!

Spanish Quinoa
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 5 cups
  • Serving size: 1 - 1¼ heaping cups
    Prep time: 
    Cook time: 
    Total time: 
    A different twist to traditional Spanish Rice.
    • 1 cup Quinoa or rice
    • 2 cups water
    • ½ tablespoons olive oil
    • ¼ cup onion, diced
    • ¼ cup bell pepper, diced
    • 2 Tbsp. jalapeno pepper. diced
    • 1 cloves garlic, minced
    • ¼ teaspoon paprika
    • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
    • ¾ cup tomato sauce
    • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1. To cook Quinoa, in a medium size pot add quinoa and water, cook on medium heat until water starts to boil, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until water is evaporated and quinoa is translucent. Fluff with fork when done
    2. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
    3. Add onion, peppers, garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
    4. Add tomato sauce, paprika and chili powder. Cook for 2 minutes.
    5. Add cooked quinoa. Slowly add tomatoes, mix well until all the quinoa is covered in sauce.
    6. Serving Size: 4 - 4¼ cups
    Calories per serving: 218, Fat: 5.8, Cholesterol: 0, Sodium: 153, Potassium: 105, Carbs: 35.7, Fiber: 4.4, Sugar: 1.4, Protein: 5.8

    One thing about this dish is I think it grows?!  I measured 5 heaping cups when I made it.  Than I scooped one cup for me for dinner that night, the same for the next night, plus a cup I gave to my friend, yet I still have 1/2 a bowl left, at least 3 1/2 more cups.  It’s crazy!  So the calories maybe less than what I posted!!  I will tell you it tastes wonderful the next day, maybe even better than the first.  The flavors of the garlic, peppers and tomatoes really came out!  This isn’t even bad as a cold salad, yes I spooned a few mouthfuls when I was in a snacky mood, though I prefer it warm.  Just a quick zap in the old microwave!

    I’m not going to go on about my detox (this will be my last post about it), but I wanted to tell you something interesting that I learned.  Friday through May 13th, Starbucks has 1/2 price frappuccino’s from 3 to 5, so I decided since I have been so good all week, I was going to treat myself to a Mocha Light frappe.  I will tell you it tasted wonderful!!  I thought this will be my Friday treat if I can stay away from gallons of coffee throughout the week.  About 30 minutes after I had my frappe, my stomach started to rumble and I got an empty feeling in it.  This is a feeling I have been having for months, but since I started detoxing on Monday I didn’t get that feeling once!  I’m afraid that the coffee is really not good for me or it could be the milk, since I haven’t had any milk this week, except for what is in Greek Yogurt.  This makes me sad, yet kind of relieved.  I’ve been trying to figure out what is wrong with me and this is what it came down to, coffee or the milk.  Does anyone else have these issues with either or?  But now this little experiment has challenged me!  I decided I am going to come up with a Light Frappe that tastes just as good and is not full of whatever Starbucks puts into it.  So stay tuned for a recipe coming your way.  I just need to figure one out!  I love this challenge, because I am going to make a drink that won’t give me a stomach ache, plus it will be healthier for me and I already have a pretty good idea what I am going to do!!  I’m excited for my personal challenge!

    By the way, I lost 3lbs in 5 days from detoxing, with no exercise and basically I eat normal, never hungry!  I just cut out the coffee, milk, bread, rice and pasta!  I’m going to try to stick to this way of eating, but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to have those things.  I treated myself to a 6″ sub from Subway and I don’t feel guilty at all, it tasted so good!   Tomorrow is a new day and I’ll start off fresh!!  I think the key to weight loss is drinking lots and lots of water!!

    Well, my friends, have a wonderful day!  Have a skinny margarita and enjoy Cinco de Mayo!!  You know I’ll be having some kind of mexican feast!

    But before I go, be sure to check out everyone’s Cinco de Mayo recipes posted below!!


    Picture of my dinner on Monday:  Grilled chicken with my Jalapeno Dressing, side salad and Spanish Quinoa.



    1. Looks like Quinoa was pretty popular for this round – I made some, too! I just made some Spanish rice recently and this looks like it would be very similar – looks delicious!

      • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

        I LOVE your recipe! My favorite ingredients in one dish!! I’m going to try yours out too!!

    2. Beautifully done, Jen!!! I love quinoa…and your dish looks so spicy and wonderful!!! Great HRC dish, my friend!

      • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

        Your dish is wonderful!! The brownies look out of this world!! I should make them for hubby! He would absolutely love them, plus than I can eat one or two! 🙂

    3. Your dish is beautiful! I love the way quinoa photographs! AND it sounds absolutely divine!

      • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

        Thanks Jen! It’s such a funny looking grain, but it’s so tasty!

    4. I am so excited for more photos. I have never tasted quinoa… hopefully one day.. i will find it.

    5. Thank you so much for bringing this dish to the Weekend Potluck and for linking back. I pinned it and hope you get a ton of traffic. I know the picture will lure them in. 😉

      • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

        Thanks for having me at Weekend Potluck!! Also thank you for pinning my quinoa. 🙂

    6. I’ve recently fallen in love with quinoa! This Spanish inspired version is spectacular!

      • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

        This was the first time having it and I love it!! I don’t know why I haven’t made it sooner?

    7. I love that you made quinoa too! I could seriously not have enough quinoa. And this spanish version looks fabulous! I can’t wait to serve it with some carne asada. Or better yet make some tacos with it!

      • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

        Your dish looks great! I have to try that soy chorizo!! I plan on making your dish in the very near future!! You mention carne asada, boy that sounds good!!

    8. Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!
      Tanks goodness someone had this excellent idea,I love Quinoa can’t never have enough specialty the Spanish version.!!! Good Job!!!

    9. I love it! Great idea using quinoa in place of rice–so much more nutrition! YUM!

      • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

        I agree! I’m trying new grains and trying to make things healthier. There’s a whole new food world out there, that I look forward to exploring!

    10. This looks so perfect for dinner! A beautiful colour and bursting with flavour 😀

      Choc Chip Uru

    11. HTanks for telling us about the Starbuck’s deal!!!
      BTW, I really like the lay out of your blog, that’s all. =)

    12. This quinoa looks delicious!! Although I’m not sure you can go wrong with quinoa 🙂 I’m so glad to hear your Buddha’s birthday post went so well! I had a fun time picking the ingredients and hosting the hop so I’m glad it went well for everyone!

      • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

        Thank you for hosting the hop! It was fun and I know we all enjoyed it! Thank you and Erin for all your hard work!

    13. What a great recipe. I am loving the nutritional facts, and if they are less that is even better! This looks so tasty. Looking forward to trying this!

    14. What a great idea. I am in love with quinoa but I kind of get stumped sometimes as to what to do with it. Great post for HRC!

    15. Congrats again on the top 9! I am so happy you made it up there with an HRC recipe 🙂 I am surprised you never had quinoa before, it seems right up your alley! I love it and the nutty chewiness is quite fun. The spanish idea with tomatoes sounds so tasty, I want to try it the next time I make quinoa!

    16. We are big fans of Quinoa around here, this looks like a great way to enjoy it!

    17. I think this may be the most appetizing quinoa that I have ever seen. I have some in my pantry and now I now what I want to do with it.

    18. Quinoa is originally from South America, more specific from the Andean region. It’s a very common ingredient in Peru and Bolivia and we use it even to make desserts.

      • Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says

        Thank you for the information. I had no idea! It’s good to know, especially if someone asks me and trust me I have been asked before! 🙂

    19. Thanks for the recipe…was delicious!


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