Test Kitchen: Quinoa Flour

My job is cooler than yours. That’s what I tell people when asked what it’s like being the campus dietitian at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville. One job perk: free product samples. We constantly look for great products to incorporate into our dining operations, whether it be in dining halls, retail dining, or on-campus convenience stores. So much happens behind the scenes in our business, recipe and product testing being one aspect.

Why not share what we’re doing?!? This is a no brainer for me. At Chartwells, we’re passionate for food, Fayetteville, and the hogs. That’s why our chefs, managers, and myself are here on this great campus! I’ll start this test kitchen series monthly. Be sure to follow @arkieeatswell on Instagram for dates and what we’re testing each month.

Chef Phillip and I tested quinoa flour before Thanksgiving. We were really excited since neither of us had cooked with quinoa flour prior to November. Please note, Chef and myself do not have Celiac disease or an allergy to gluten, but we try an awful lot of foods to help serve those with meal plans who may have medical conditions or allergies that limit food choices. I borrowed these recipes from a couple of bloggers; you can find the original recipes for quinoa chicken parmesan and the quinoa blueberry muffin right here.

Quinoa Blueberry Muffin

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 egg, large (sub 1 Tbsp flaxseed to remove egg)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (feel free to sub for stevia instead)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 2 ramekins or small bowls (microwavable-safe)

Stir wet ingredients (blueberries, milk, and vanilla) together in one bowl, then combine dry ingredients quinoa flakes, egg, sugar, and salt. Combine both mixtures and stir until thoroughly mixed. Spray 2 ramekins with cooking spray and pour in the batter. Microwave for 4 minutes, or until the surface of the muffins spring back. Tada! Be sure to let the muffins cool before you enjoy!

Dietitian Thoughts

  • We modified the original recipe to include egg and used sugar instead of stevia. I personally dislike the taste of alternate sweeteners (natural and artificial). Be sure to look up sugar to sweetener conversions. Artificial sweeteners tend to be several hundred times sweeter than sugar, so you will probably use less.
  • Love this for a quick breakfast you can easily make in your dorm room before you rush off to class. Though I do recommend pairing with a good protein source such as greek yogurt.
  • Probably won’t make it into our dining halls; we’ll leave the microwave cooking to you 😉

Quinoa Chicken Parmesan

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked (cook according to package directions)
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 4 thin-sliced, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup marinara
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade

Preheat oven to 400 degress. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Cook quinoa according to package directions, and stir in Italian seasoning. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Coat chicken breasts in quinoa flour, then egg wash, and finally the cooked quinoa. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. The latter being my recommendation to prevent overcooking. Top with marinara, cheese mixture, and basil. Voila! Your crispy, made without gluten chicken parm awaits!


Dietitian Thoughts

  • Love the crunch and nutty flavor that cooked quinoa brings to this take on a classic dish. This will definitely work its way into the dining halls. I’ll let you know when and where via my Instagram account, @arkieeatswell.
  • The original recipe called for all-purpose flour; we substituted quinoa flour to make this recipe completely gluten-free. Be sure to check labels for a gluten-free icon. Though quinoa is naturally gluten-free, sometimes it can be processed with wheat, which contaminates the product.
  • This recipe is fantastic for cooking in your apartment. Cooking in your dorm room? Not so much. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a community kitchen in your dorm, cook away!
  • Chiffo-WHAT? Chiffonade is a cutting technique for vegetables and herbs. Watch this video for instructions. Impress your friends with a new addition to your culinary vocab and knife skills 😉

I hope you enjoy! What else do want us to test? We love your feedback. So please leave it.