Will the Picky Eater be Keen on Quinoa?

One reason why I don’t like going to nutrition websites is that I find it very hard to trust them. They say things like, “Try brown rice instead of white. Brown rice has a rich, nutty flavor that you’ll love.” So I try brown rice, only to discover that it tastes like shredded cardboard.

Can’t they just be honest and say, “Here’s the deal, bulgur tastes nothing like pasta, it’s not going to be yummy or fun to eat, but it’s good for you, so maybe find a way to shovel it down.”

Thus, I was an extreme skeptic about trying quinoa. (It’s pronounced Keen-WAH. Get my title now? Aren’t I just the clever one?). But a friend gave me a recipe for “Healthy Chocolate Banana Quinoa for Breakfast.” I ignored every word in that title except for “chocolate.”

jerry maguire

The recipe had impressive stats: low-calorie, high in protein, high in fiber. It had a picture, which is a must for me, and the picture didn’t make me gag. Also, it contained chocolate.  So I gave it a try.

The package said that cooking the quinoa was supposed to take 10 minutes, but it really took more like 20. It did NOT smell good while cooking. Two strikes against you quinoa. I mixed in the chocolate and banana and only then was I willing to try it. (Apparently a good chef samples his or her cooking during the process. I am not a good chef.)

Stay with me here when I tell you that it was…GREAT! And I don’t mean the chocolate and banana part. Quinoa is kind of like tapioca if tapioca were a little crunchier. Don’t get me wrong, quinoa is soft, but each little ball of quinoa retains its independence; it doesn’t gel together into one substance like oatmeal. So when you eat it, you can slightly feel every little quinoa in your mouth. It doesn’t crunch like Grape Nuts, and it doesn’t mush like oatmeal; it’s in between. I think kids would find this to be very fun to eat.


Also, it tastes nothing like it smells during cooking, which was a good thing for me. It has a taste, but it’s a pretty good taste and it’s pretty mild. I ended up making it twice in one weekend I liked it so much, and now it’s a regular on my short list of breakfast go-to items. I realize that most quinoa recipes are meant as side dishes, and they usually contain spices, cheese and vegetables. But I wasn’t ready for that. I was only ready for a chocolate version. To my fellow picky eaters (and yes, I realize most of you are under the age of six), I give quinoa a thumbs up and encourage you try it!

If you have already tried it and like it, who has some recipes for me? (Nothing too crazy though, I’m still a very, very picky eater!)

Related Post: Sabotage! Someone Sneaks Red Peppers into Picky Eater’s Food!

Leave a comment


  1. Picky Eater

     /  July 10, 2013

    Thank you Laura and Colleen – I will gladly share the recipe:
    I will try the broccoli quinoa casserole. I make no promises about liking it, but I will try it!

  2. Laura Dudley, RD LD

     /  July 10, 2013

    Yes, please share the recipe!. The nerd in me would like to share that the World Health Organization has declared 2013 “International Year of Quinoa” — because it’s such an important food source for much of the world — providing protein for many people without access to the same foods as we have here in the US. High in protein (complete protein – in a plant!), and high in potassium (helps lower blood pressure). Don’t let any of this stop you from trying it though, I can’t wait to try the chocolate, banana recipe!

  3. Colleen Thompson

     /  July 10, 2013

    The quinoa/chocolate/banana breakfast sounds awesome – are you going to share that recipe? How about quid pro quo, and I’ll share my favorite quinoa recipe? It’s broccoli quinoa casserole. (Or does the mere thought of broccoli make you gag? Can’t help you there.) Here’s the recipe: http://eatingwelllivingthin.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/blast-from-the-past-with-a-new-twist/

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