Why this is a Great Family Dish
- One-Pot Meal - Because less washing up is always a good thing!
- Easy to Adapt - Make it vegetarian by skipping the shrimp and adding extra veggies.
- Allergen Friendly - Gluten-free (use gluten-free stock), dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free.
- Tasty - A dish the whole family will enjoy!
- Nutritious - Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index. It is packed full of essential vitamins and minerals, is a rich source of protein and is high in fibre.
Spanish Quinoa Ingredients (with alternative suggestions for allergies and babies)
- Quinoa - I have used tricolour quinoa in this recipe but you can use your white if you prefer. White quinoa has the most delicate taste and it cooks up a bit fluffier than other varieties of quinoa. For this reason, white quinoa is a popular choice for babies and also in dishes like this. Red quinoa keeps its shape more and has a nuttier flavour and black has an earthier flavour. I like the tri combination but would not recommend using only red or black quinoa in this dish.
- Prawns (shrimp) - The prawns can easily be skipped or replaced with some cooked chicken or extra veggies. If cooking for a baby/toddler, depending on age and stage, you can chop up the prawns into little pieces.
- Chicken Stock - Chicken stock can be replaced with vegetable stock. The stock helps to add flavour and balance out the bitterness of quinoa. If making this dish for a baby make sure to use homemade stock, low sodium stock or replace with water to keep the sodium levels lower.
- Canned Chopped Tomatoes
- Veggies (onion, bell pepper, peas) - All the vegetables used are quite sweet which helps to balance flavours. Feel free to up the veggies
- Smoked Paprika - Adds a lovely smoky, sweet taste to the dish. It’s not typically a hot spice and I find it to be very kid-friendly.
- Lemon - The lemon juice really adds to the dish, the citrus helps to balance out the flavours.
I made this Spanish style quinoa in a similar way to how I'd make a paella, substituting rice with quinoa. It takes around 30 minutes to make but much of that time is for simmering, requiring little "hands-on" work.
- Start by sauteeing the onion and bell pepper in a little oil. This helps to release the natural sweetness and provides the dish with flavour.
- Add the garlic and smoked paprika and stir for a further min.
- Add the tomato, stock and water and bring to the boil.
- Add the quinoa, stir and allow to simmer for around 1o mins. Occasionally check to see that it remains at a gentle simmer.
- Stir through the peas and place the prawns (shrimp) on top of the quinoa. During that time, shake the pan occasionally and turn the prawns over halfway through the cooking time – they will turn pink when cooked.
- Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid (or clean tea cloth if you do not have a lid) for around 5 minutes. This step allows the quinoa to finish cooking in the steam inside the pan. Any last bits of moisture will evaporate — resulting in tender, dry quinoa and not a mushy mess.
- Refrigerate - Allow the quinoa to cool and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 48 hours.
- Freeze - Allow the quinoa to cool and transfer to an airtight container. Freeze for up to one month. Thaw, in the refrigerator overnight.
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Spanish Style Quinoa
- Large frying pan
- ½ tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Onion Finely Chopped
- 1 Red Capsicum (Bell Pepper) Chopped
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Minced
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 200g (7oz) Canned Chopped Tomatoes (Half a can)
- 500ml (2 cups) Chicken Stock
- 250ml (1 cup) Water
- 260g (1 ½ cups) Quinoa
- 15 Large Prawns (shrimp) Peeled and De-veined
- 140g (1 cup) cup Frozen Peas
- 1 Lemon Juice of
- Heat oil in a large frying pan, over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and gently fry for approx. 5 minutes (until the onion has softened and translucent )
- Add the garlic and smoked paprika and fry for a further minute.
- Add the tomatoes, stock and water and bring to a boil.
- Add the quinoa and simmer for 10 minutes (stirring occasionally).
- Stir through the peas and place the prawns (shrimp) on top of the quinoa. Simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Cover with a lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the juice of one lemon, stir and serve.
*This post was originally posted Jan 2014, it has been updated with new photos and recipe information.