If you’ve recently become health-conscious, you may have heard of quinoa.
It’s a grain eaten worldwide, and it’s estimated that close to 90% of the entire population has tried quinoa at least once.
Quinoa has an earthy taste, with subtle hints of nuttiness.
Some describe the flavor as slightly bitter or bland, but this can easily be fixed by adding spices like salt for savory dishes, cumin for spicy dishes, or curry powder for sweet dishes.
There are many different flavors and varieties of quinoa; this makes it a versatile food because it can be served as a side dish or added to soups, salads, and other recipes.
Besides the great taste and nutritional value that quinoa provides (see below), many people eat quinoa for its ease of preparation.
Because it’s such a healthy alternative to many other grains, it doesn’t require being on the stovetop or oven for long periods.
In just 20 minutes on the stove, you can have a pot of perfectly fluffy quinoa.
It’s important to note that quinoa has a slightly crunchier texture than rice but can still be used as an alternative side dish to rice.
So what goes best with quinoa? Read on to discover the eight best side dishes for quinoa.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Quinoa?
Quinoa is a yummy grain. It’s light, healthy, and can be combined in nearly any dish for added nutrition.
Side dishes are the perfect way to add flavor and color to your quinoa-filled meal.
Quinoa is naturally delicious, but adding other ingredients is a great way to make your dish unique and flavorful.
There are many different ways people like to eat quinoa: alone, in a salad, or wrapped into a tortilla.
Though it’s usually served warm, you can also pair quinoa with cold side dishes for a refreshing combination.
Another reason to consider serving side dishes with quinoa is the nutritional value.
Quinoa and foods like it (like kale and sweet potatoes) may seem like healthy food, but sometimes it’s good to eat something that tastes more like what you’re used to.
Side dishes can add flavor and taste to quinoa without making it unhealthy.
All of them. Quinoa is a very versatile grain, and it works as well with sweet side dishes as it does with savory ones.
When choosing what foods to put into your dish, think about the flavors you enjoy.
Try putting some peppers and onions into your quinoa for a delicious meal if you like spicy food.
Remember, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one side dish.
Quinoa can be served alone or with other ingredients, so try putting together some spices and vegetables that you like.
What to Serve with Quinoa? 8 BEST Side Dishes
Here are eight great options to consider when you’re planning your next meal.
1 – Steamed Kale
Kale is known as a superfood, and it’s one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.
It has lots of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A and C.
It also contains phytonutrients that help with digestion and inflammation in the body.
Though kale is delicious on its own, steaming it brings out the natural sweetness of the leaves.
Kale is also very versatile, so it goes well with a variety of flavors and spices.
You can spice up this side by adding some pepper or garlic into the mix.
2 – Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are full of fiber, folate, Vitamin K, potassium, and Vitamins A and C.
They’re also an anti-inflammatory food.
Brussel sprouts are great because they can be roasted in the oven to give them a slightly smoky flavor which brings out their natural sweetness.
You can pair them with other vegetables or even put them into your eggs for a tasty breakfast.
3 – Eggs with Veggies
Eggs are full of Vitamin D, choline, folate, Vitamins A and B12. They’re also very filling and satisfying.
You can serve them with just about any vegetable you like to bring out the flavors.
Try pairing them with spinach or asparagus for a nutritious meal.
Eggs are also very quick to cook, so they’re perfect if you’re looking for a healthy meal that’s ready in no time.
Just remember that moderation is key when it comes to eggs.
You don’t want to eat too many since they contain cholesterol and saturated fat.
4 – Vegetable Soup
Soup is a comforting and delicious dish, and it can be used as either a side or a main.
Since vegetables are the main component of this meal, they contain many essential nutrients such as Vitamin A and C.
They also offer lots of fiber to help you feel full longer.
Most soups will keep in the fridge for a week, so you can eat them as leftovers and save some money on your grocery bill.
You can also use this recipe to switch up what you’re eating.
If you feel like having quinoa instead of rice or tortilla chips, don’t be afraid to try something new.
It’s always good to experiment with your food.
5 – Baked Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are full of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, iron, and calcium.
They’re also very sweet, making them one of the most popular side dishes for Thanksgiving or other holiday dinners.
You can have them baked or boiled to reduce some of their natural sugar.
Add spices like cinnamon or cumin to bring out their flavor.
You can also add some other vegetables, such as peppers and onions, for a more interesting meal.
6 – Roasted Beets
Beets are packed with fiber, folate, Vitamin C, potassium, and Vitamins A and B.
They also have lots of anti-inflammatory properties.
The best way to cook beets is by roasting them in the oven or on the stovetop.
This gives them a sweet flavor which you can enhance by adding cinnamon or other spices.
You can also roast them with other veggies like carrots for a delicious meal.
7 – Rice and Beans
Rice and beans are a classic combination that has been eaten for centuries.
They’re full of fiber which helps regulate the digestive system, Vitamin B12 for cell health, potassium to keep your body hydrated, and iron to carry oxygen throughout your body.
You can make this dish more interesting by adding some peppers, onions, or spices.
It’s also very easy to make – cook the rice and heat the beans.
This dish is perfect if you’re looking for something quick and simple, but it’s still healthy and filling.
8 – Vegetarian Chili
Chili is delicious comfort food that can help you warm up on cold nights.
You can make vegetarian chili by forgoing the meat and adding extra vegetables, like tomatoes or corn.
This dish goes great with nearly any side, but it’s especially good with rice or quinoa.
Just be careful not to eat too much – it’s easy to overeat due to the high levels of carbs and fat.
Conclusion – Flavor & Why Serving Side Dishes
Quinoa is a unique alternative to rice or couscous that’s full of protein and fiber.
When paired with vegetables, you get an amazing meal that can be easily customized depending on your tastes.
Depending on what you decide to pair it with, you can make a simple meal that’s ready in no time or something more complex and nutritious.
It’s always good to experiment with your food for endless variety – try out these eight delicious side dishes today.