Peppy Quinoa: An Uncle Sam chef-inspired award winning school recipe

Submitted by Chef Paul Ruszat, as well as kids, school nutritionists and community members Sartell, Minnesota's Sartell Middle School.

Recipe: Peppy Quinoa

  • 1/8 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds
  • 1 ¼ cups quinoa, dry
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium chicken base
  • ½ cup fresh onion, peeled, diced
  • ½ cup canned diced green chilies
  • 2 ¼ tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh green onions, diced
  • 2-4 Tbsp Fresh lime juice (optional)
    1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
    2. Toast pepitas in oven for 10 minutes or until light brown and aromatic. Set aside.
    3. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear, not cloudy. Combine quinoa, 2 ½ cups water, and chicken base in a small pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer until water is completely absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. When done, quinoa will be soft and a white ring will pop out of the kernel. The white ring will appear only when it is fully cooked. Fluff with a fork. Set aside. A rice cooker may be used with the same quantity of quinoa, water, and chicken base.
    4. Mix quinoa, onions, green chilies, and garlic in an 8" x 8" nonstick baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover pan and bake at 350 °F for 40 minutes.
    5. Toss in cilantro, green onions, pepitas, and optional lime juice to taste. Serve hot.
    Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour 5 minutes Amount: Makes six ½-cup servings (½ cup provides 1/8 cup other vegetable and 1 ¼ oz equivalent grains).
      Nutrients Per Serving:
      Calories 174, Protein 6 g, Carbohydrate 29 g, Dietary Fiber 3 g, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat <1 g, Cholesterol <1 mg, Vitamin A 244 IU (12 RAE), Vitamin C 10 mg, Iron 2 mg, Calcium 34 mg, Sodium 93 mg.