Quinoa with Blood Orange and Basil

by Marla on March 20, 2010 · 40 comments

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quinoa with tumeric, blood orange, green onion and spices

Blood oranges are showing up all over the markets and the web these days. Not only are they beautiful with their ruby red color, but they are a tasty addition to sweets and savories. This is a great dish for Meatless Monday’s. Quinoa is a great high protein whole grain that is also gluten free. The citrus and grain combo makes for a great side or full meal when served with veggies.

This salad brings out the flavors of spring. Even folks like me who cling to everything winter will love the peppiness of this whole grain dish.  A bowl of this quinoa and I am ready to embrace the tastes and flavors of the upcoming warm weather seasons!  Grab a spoon and dig in.

healthy whole grain side dish, feeds a crowd

About Quinoa

  • It is gluten free and low on the glycemic index, a slow burning high energy food.
  • Loaded with phytonutrients and minerals.
  • Great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
  • It is an inexpensive whole grain.
  • Quick cooking. In 15 minutes it is ready to serve.
  • There are many varieties of this grain. Each have a similar nutritional profile. From red to cream, pinks, brown & black, you can create beautiful, rich looking dishes with it.
  • It  is a complete protein with 9 essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks needed for our tissue development. A great way for vegetarians to get a complete source of protein.
  • This versatile grain can be seasoned and used in many ways, sweets and savories.
  • It  is a great addition to soup, casseroles, stews, chili.  Wonderful to use for breakfast too!
  • It keeps a nice firm, nutty texture, doesn’t get mushy even with sauces.

Quinoa with Blood Orange and Basil

Makes about 8 half cup servings


  • 1 cup dry Quinoa (prepare according to package directions)
  • Handful chopped fresh Basil + some for garnish
  • 1/2 Lemon or 1 Tbs Lemon juice
  • juice from 1/2 Navel Orange (any “orange” Orange) or a few tbs Orange Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • chopped Green Onion (Scallions)
  • A few pinches of the following spices:
  • ground Black Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Tumeric
  • 3 Blood Oranges: cut into small pieces with pith and seeds removed


Prepare quinoa according to package. Let it cool and toss with all of the above ingredients. Add the sliced blood orange last so they don’t break up too much when you combine. This is best served at room temperature or chilled.

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  • Toasted nuts: Add some walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, almonds, etc.
  • Cheese: Top with Chevre (creamy goat cheese), Feta, good sliced Parmesan, Romano, Gruyere, etc.
  • Dried Fruit: Toss in some chopped dried Apricots, Cranberries, Cherries, etc.
  • Have a few ounces of quinoa with cheese or nuts for a mini meal.
  • Toss with mixed greens and some lean protein for a balanced salad.
  • Use as a bed under your favorite lean protein. Serve with a side of steamed veggies.
  • Use unseasoned quinoa for breakfast instead of oatmeal. Serve with any toppings you would put on your oats.

Quinoa Recipe Links

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