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Quinoa, the non-local sounding local

At Smaller footprints we have decided to crown Quinoa our most-amazing and least-problematic food, which is why we thought you deserved to know why and how you can make it!

What makes it so great?

Our white Quinoa:

● Has a low carbon footprint since it comes from Britain.

● Is cheaper than the major supermarkets.

● Comes to us in 25KG paper bag (whilst we work on adding to our Circular Economies).

● Is a superfood, packed with essential amino acids and minerals which are super good for your health.

● Is organic.

● Is versatile making a great alternative to rice, pasta and couscous.

● Is gluten free and vegan.

● Is incredibly easy and quick to cook quinoa as it’s just like cooking rice!

To make, you will need:

● One cup of quinoa

● One and a half cups of cold water

● A pinch of salt


1) Place quinoa in sieve and rinse with water to remove any dirt or dust.

2) Place rinsed quinoa in a pan with water

3) Add salt or any additional flavourings

4) Bring pan to the boil, before reducing the heat as low as possible and placing the lid on the pan, allowing the quinoa to gently steam.

The quinoa is ready to be served when all the water has been absorbed. If putting in a salad it’s recommended you leave it to cool first.

Before telling you about our favourite recipes we’d like to encourage you to check out to see how versatile quinoa really is. You can make it into salad, a burger, granola bars, patties, fritters, porridge and even cookies!


● All recipes are gluten free, vegan or vegetarian, although you can add meat to any of the dishes.

1) Quinoa-stuffed pepper

● Vegan

● Makes 6 peppers.


● 6 bell peppers (red, orange or yellow are best)

● Quinoa

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● Lemon juice

● 1 red onion

● 1 garlic clove

● 1 tsp dried chilli flakes

● 1 small courgette

● 100g (roughly) chestnut mushrooms (a sub for any other mushrooms)

● Salt

● Black pepper


1) Preheat your grill to a medium heat, and leave to heat up.

2) Dice the onion, and saute in a saucepan along with the olive oil on a low heat until soft and translucent.

3) While the onion is cooking, place the bell peppers under the grill on their side until slightly charred. This should take 2-3 minutes. Flip the peppers over, and repeat for the other side. Remove from the grill and leave to cool slightly.

4) Turn off the grill, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

5) Crush or finely chop the garlic clove, and add the onion along with the chilli flakes. Fry for a further 2-3 minutes before dicing and adding the courgette. Mix well.

6) Slice the mushrooms, and when the courgettes are soft, add to the pan. Season well with salt and pepper.

7) Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside.

8) Slice the tops off each pepper, then remove the seeds and pith. Place onto tray (you may need to level off the bottom to prevent the peppers from falling).

9) Add the lemon and herb quinoa to the vegetable mixture, and combine well.

10) Spoon the mixture into the peppers, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the peppers are soft and juicy.

11) Remove from the oven, and serve as a meal or a side.

2) Herby quinoa, feta and pomegranates

● Vegetarian

● Serves 4 (or 6-8 as a side)

● A Middle Eastern-style meze bowl with healthy grains, parsley, mint and coriander


● 1 red onion, finely chopped

● 85g raisins or sultanas

● 100g feta cheese, crumbled

● 200g pomegranate

● seeds from tub or fruit

● 85g toasted pine nuts or toasted flaked almonds

● small pack each coriander, flat leaf parsley and mint, roughly chopped

● juice 3 lemon

● 1 tsp sugar


1) Cook the quinoa like detailed above. Drain well and spread over a platter or wide,

2) When the quinoa is just about cool stir through all of the remaining ingredients with plenty of seasoning.

3) Quinoa stew with squash, prunes & pomegranate

● Vegan

● Serves 4


● 1 small butternut squash, deseeded and cubed

● 2 tbsp olive oil

● 1 large onion

● thinly slices

● 1 garlic clove, chopped

● 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger

● 1 tsp ras-el-hanout or Middle Eastern spice mix

● 200g quinoa

● 5 prunes, roughly chopped

● juice 1 lemon

● 600ml vegetable stock

● seeds from 1 pomegranate

● small handful mint leaves


Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the squash on a baking tray and toss with 1 tbsp of the oil. Season well and roast for 30-35 mins or until soft.Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a big saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, season and cook for 10 mins. Add the spice and quinoa, and cook for another couple of mins. Add the prunes, lemon juice and stock, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 25 mins.When everything is tender, stir the squash through the stew. Spoon into bowls and scatter with pomegranate seeds and mint to serve.

4) Carrot and Raisin Quinoa Salad

Vegan (vegetarian with honey)

Serves 4-6


● 1 cup quinoa, uncooked

● 2 large carrots, shredded

● 1 cup golden raisins

● 1/3 cup pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds

● 1/3 cup chopped pecans

● 2 limes, juiced

● 1/3 cup olive oil

● (2 tablespoons honey)

● 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

● big pinch coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


1) Cook quinoa according to directions, set aside and cool.

2) In a large bowl combine cooled quinoa with carrots, raisins, nuts and seeds.

3) In a small jar combine lime juice, olive oil, (honey), paprika, salt and pepper and shake well.

4) Add vinaigrette to quinoa salad and toss to combine. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

5) Peruvian Toasted sweetcorn, avocado & quinoa salad

● Vegan

● Serves 2


● 75g uncooked quinoa

● 140g frozen sweetcorn

● 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

● 75g cherry tomatoes, quartered

● 1 small pack coriander, leaves roughly chopped

● trimmed and finely sliced

● finely grated zest and juice 1 lime

● ½ long red chilli, finely chopped (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot)

● 1 ripe but firm avocado

● 25g mixed nuts, such as brazils, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts.


1) Half fill a medium pan with water and bring to the boil. Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve then add to the water, stir well and simmer for about 12 mins or until just tender.

2) While the quinoa is cooking, put the sweetcorn in a dry frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Cook for 5-6 mins, turning every now and then until lightly toasted. Set aside.

3) Rinse the cooked quinoa in a sieve under cold water, then press hard with a ladle or serving spoon to remove as much of the excess water as possible.

4) Tip the quinoa into a bowl and toss with the olive oil, sweetcorn, tomatoes, coriander, spring onions, lime zest and chilli. Season well with black pepper.

5) Halve and stone the avocado. Scoop out the flesh with a large metal spoon and cut into slices. Toss with the lime juice. Add the avocado and nuts to the salad and toss gently together before serving.

Et Voila.

Issy Comley

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