Black Quinoa with Spinach, Tomatoes, & Onions

I love quinoa, the super nutritious, powerhouse grain.  It’s not only incredibly good for your body, but delicious as well. You can  read more about the health benefits of quinoa from one of my previous posts here.

Recently a client contacted me requesting I create a specific gluten free menu to be shared with friends.  She was leaving the country for 4 years and this would to be one of their last hurrahs together.  One of dishes on her list was Quinoa – a versatile grain with umpteen possibilities .

Most people I know tend to drop their quinoa into boiling water for 15-20 minutes then eat it.  That’s one way of preparing it, but I don’t find it as tasty.  I prefer preparing it like Paella – allowing the grains to become slightly nutty in flavor, then adding broth for the final touch.

Quinoa can be purchased in white, red or black.  Since Salmon was also on her menu I thought black quinoa would accent the fish nicely.

This particular recipe can be whipped up quickly, and while I chose to use spinach, tomatoes and onions, be creative – use what you have in stock, or select items that you feel will compliment your entree.  If you’d like quinoa to be your main course, doctor this recipe up with vegetables of your choice, then add an extra protein ranging from tofu, fish, chicken or beef, for a complete meal.  You’ll love it!

Here’s my recipe, I hope you like it……..

Black Quinoa with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Onions


1 T Olive Oil
1 small onion, minced
10 oz. container grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 C quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 C vegetable broth or water(can use chicken stock)
1/4 t black pepper
5-8 oz. pkg. spinach, baby leaves
1 t salt (optional)


  1. Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and tomatoes, stirring frequently until onion is tender, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté briefly.
  2. Add quinoa to skillet, stirring frequently until quinoa starts to smell fragrant, or turns golden brown, (If using white quinoa) – about 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth, and black pepper to skillet. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for approximately 13-15 minutes (uncovered), until quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid. Stir in spinach and blend until wilted – water should all be absorbed. Season with salt if desired.


Here are more recipes using Quinoa you might like to try:

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

Grilled Swordfish Kebobs w/Black Bean, Corn, and Quinoa Salad

Black Quinoa Asian Slaw