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

Top 30 recipe from “Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook for Homes” provided by the USDA’s Team Nutrition.


  • 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.

Recipe: Peppy Quinoa