A Quinoa Recipe That Doesn’t Suck

A Refreshing Lemony Quinoa Recipe That Doesn't Suck [www.whatkumquat.com]

Until recently, I approached quinoa with the same level of enthusiasm one has for a pap smear. You know it’s good for you, but that doesn’t make it enjoyable.

The way I saw it, quinoa was a trend perpetuated by uppity Soul Cycle-going, Luluemon-wearing, green juice-drinking psychopaths to tarnish the good name of pasta. “The healthy pasta replacement you should be making for dinner!” read the over-eager headlines. I didn’t want to replace pasta. I wanted to swim in a bathtub of carbonara until the day I perished, probably from cholesterol-related events.

I knew the epidemic had reached calamitous proportions when my own mother started advocating for the grain. To put this in perspective, my mother is a Greek woman who would rather leave a window open in the winter than go a day without bread or cheese. She’s quite frankly the last person I ever expected to stick up for quinoa.

A Refreshing Lemony Quinoa Recipe That Doesn't Suck [www.whatkumquat.com]

But that was before I tried THIS quinoa. As with most of the best things on this blog, the recipe is my mother’s (who also has a blog—some families have Christmas traditions. Mine blogs.). I simplified it a bit to suit my culinary ability/ refined taste buds that I share with an eight-year-old, and voilà! A quinoa recipe that doesn’t suck.

It’s refreshing and delicious and good for you I think and it has caused me quite the existential crisis. Who am I? Should I change my name to Rain? Take up hot yoga and maybe dabble in composting? Am I the kind of person who might enjoy activated charcoal? Am I secretly athletic?

In case you were wondering, the answer to the latter question is no. Whilst trying to walk up a moving escalator yesterday, I almost keeled over and died.

A Refreshing Lemony Quinoa Recipe That Doesn't Suck [www.whatkumquat.com]

serves  people 

You Will Need

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 lemon
  • crumbled feta (start with ~1/2 cup then add accordingly; for reference, I like feta so much I’ll probably name my firstborn after it so I usually add between 3/4 cup-1 cup of it)
  • generous glug of olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Rinse your quinoa well, then add to a large pot with two cups water and a pinch of salt (“a pinch” here meaning about a teaspoon’s worth, I just thought it sounded more profesh). Cover and bring to a boil, then uncover and let it simmer until all the water is absorbed. Be sure to stir constantly and check up on it as though you’re a first-time parent monitoring your newborn so it doesn’t burn!
  2. Transfer the cooked quinoa into a large bowl and let it cool completely, fluffing it every now and again to make it cool faster and also to let it know you care.
  3. Meanwhile, cook your corn and rinse your beans.
  4. When the quinoa is cooled and the rest of your ingredients are physically ready —there’s no telling the emotional state of a kidney bean, I’m afraid!— you can start assembling. Season your quinoa first by pouring in some olive oil and sprinkling some pepper over top, then squeeze in the juice of a small lemon. Add some more salt if it needs it, though it usually doesn’t.
  5. Mix in the rest of your ingredients and voilà, you have a dish guaranteed to cure all your ailments and give you abs overnight. That’s what the quinoa packaging says, anyway.



  1. I’ve never been a quinoa fan either! But hey girl you might have convinced me to give it another try with this recipe!

    xoxo A

  2. This looks so healthy!! The great thing about plain quinoa is that it takes the flavor of anything you mix it with. I love mixing in super lean ground beef & simply olive oil, S & P, and a bit of chopped garlic!

  3. I don’t know if it’s the flavor or the texture, but I also don’t really enjoy quinoa, but I may need to try this!

  4. This is the best recipe I’ve ever read. If I knew quinoa was destined to give me instant abs, I’d be eating a lot more of it!


  5. jivilotus

    I’m a quinoa addict but I’ve never actually added lemon before – I might have to give this a try after reading this.

  6. This looks so yummy and filling!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  7. My husband despises quinoa as a passion- he says that eating it is like chewing on sequins, haha. I think this recipe might just change his mind- I can’t wait to try it!

    xo, Ying | Navigatingadulthood.com

  8. OHHH HEYYY! I make this exact recipe! Only I add roasted sweet potato sometimes if I have it on hand! Delicious!

  9. This looks good! I’m with you that some quinoa recipes do suck haha.

  10. I actually do like quinoa, haha! This recipe sounds great!!

  11. I love quinoa! I ove mixing it with different ingredients. I definitely will try this recipe.

    xx, Melissa

  12. Michelle Paige

    hahahah loved this post, I relate so much! So thankful I finally have a use for the quinoa I bought when I moved to Colorado last August lol I feel like those things have a long shelf life right?


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