Quinoa is a whole-grain superfood, packed with protein, antioxidants, essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It’s an easy healthy swap for rice, and it’s faster to cook! It only takes 20 minutes on the stove to get light, fluffy, flavorful ready to eat quinoa.
Quinoa has a light, neutral and slightly nutty flavor, which compliments tons of spice combinations. For this recipe, I’ve added lemon, dill and garlic to the quinoa during the cooking stage. It’s easy to add flavor at the beginning. Then, set it, forget it (for 15 mins anyway), and focus your attention on the rest of dinner. The result is flavorful as a side dish on its own, or as a delicious base for a bright salad bowl.
Quinoa has enjoyed the super food spotlight for long time, and rightfully so. Becoming mainstream also means it’s typically easy to find at your local grocery store, and for a reasonable price.
Nutrition Facts per 100g of Quinoa (cooked):
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 4.4 g
- Carbs: 21.3 g
- Fiber: 2.8 g
- Fat: 1.9 g
A more complete list of Quinoa’s nutrition facts can be found here.
Quinoa Glycemic Index
If you’ve seen other posts on this blog, you’ve probably noticed that I talk about the Glycemic Index (GI) A LOT. Our oldest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 16 months old. Before that day, I barely knew that the Glycemic Index existed. But afterwards, I got a crash course in all things GI and it became a central theme in our food lives.
What I ended up learning over the years since his diagnosis goes far beyond T1D. The Glycemic Index applies to all of us. So whether we’re aware of it or not, it has a big effect on how we feel and how much energy we have throughout the day.
The GI of any food is a number between 1-100. Food with lower GI’s are broken down into sugar more slowly by your body. They will have less of an impact on your blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with higher GI’s will spike or raise your blood sugar more quickly after eating. And spiked blood sugars cause inflammation and sugar crashes. I, for one, would rather avoid those whenever possible.
Quinoa is one of many healthy low GI options. Diabetes Canada has a short and sweet list here of common low GI foods and their higher GI counterparts. Even though this list is from Diabetes Canada, the GI’s of your favorite foods affect you whether you’re diabetic or not. And once you see the list, you might realize how easy it is to make some simple swaps that keep you feeling fuller, longer.
Quinoa is simple. Firstly, measure it out at a 1:2 ratio with water or broth and rinse it under cool running water.
1 cup of quinoa : 2 cups of water or broth
Next, add it to a pot by itself, or with the lemon, dill and garlic combination in this recipe. Then bring it to a boil and cover it with a lid to simmer for 18-20 minutes. The end result will be light, fluffy and simply delicious quinoa.
It’s faster than rice, healthier than pasta, and versatile enough to serve with almost any meal. And with this lemon and dill combination, it’s a kid approved favorite, too. No wonder it ends up on our table so often 🙂
Want more dinner deliciousness? Check these out!
- Cornmeal roasted sweet potatoes
- Smoked Ginger Roasted Chickpeas
- Roasted Kale with Lemon & Garlic
- Paprika Spiced Chickpeas with Bell Peppers
So here it is, our favorite lemon and dill quinoa side dish. We hope you love it as much as we do! Enjoy!
Easy Lemon Dill Quinoa with Fresh Tomatoes
- Small or medium pot with a lid
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Spatula or spoon for stirring
- Fine mesh strainer
- 1 cup Quinoa rinsed thoroughly in fine mesh strainer
- 2 cups Low sodium vegetable broth or water
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice Add 1-2 tsp lemon zest for a stronger lemon flavor
- 1 tsp Dried Dill Weed or 3 tsp Fresh Dill Weed
- ½ tsp Granulated Garlic
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt
- ½ cup Halved Fresh Cherry Tomatoes *Optional for garnish after cooking
- Add all ingredients (not the optional fresh tomatoes) to a pot and bring to a boil
- Cover and reduce heat to low
- Let simmer for 18-20 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed and quinoa is soft
- Serve warm or chill for a fresh salad bowl
- Garnish either warm or chilled with halved fresh grape tomatoes if desired