Canadians love to barbecue: a study has shown that 8 in 10 adults own a grill or a smoker. Regardless of the season, families all over the country make it a habit to gather round to feast on grilled delicacies. While some barbecued food can be indulgent, there are ways to make your favourite grilled dishes healthier. One of the best ways to do ensure your BBQing is good for you is to add some quinoa to your recipes! Quinoa is rich in protein, vitamin B6 and fibre, which are all essential to body and brain health. For a delicious way to boost your health, try making these quinoa sides and salads for your next barbecue party.

Grilled Tofu Quinoa Salad

Add some grilled tofu to this healthy dish to take its flavour to the next level. You can use an electric grill to cook the tofu, but if you prefer your barbecue to have a smoky flavour, go with the classic charcoal grill. Whichever way you choose to cook your tofu, make sure to baste your barbecue frequently to maximise the flavour. For this recipe, you’ll need one and a half cups of cooked GoGo Quinoa Royal White or Tri-Color Quinoa – one block of extra-firm tofu, one chopped avocado, some chopped romaine lettuce, half a cup of red or black beans, and half a cup of corn kernels. Mix gently in a bowl, add your favourite nuts and seeds, and top the salad with a delicious jalapeno lime dressing

Quinoa Stuffed Grilled Bell Peppers

If you’ve never had grilled vegetables before, now is the time to toss some onto your grill – barbecuing fresh produce brings out the natural sugars within vegetables, giving them a mellow, slightly sweet taste. Even those who are not a fan of veggies will love this take on stuffed grilled bell peppers. To make, cut off the top part of the peppers to make pepper “bowls,” then discard the seeds. Grill for about one minute – don’t grill the peppers too long as they’ll soften too much and won’t be able to hold the quinoa filling properly. To make the quinoa filling, saute two medium onions, 2 cloves of garlic, and a thumb of ginger in oil, then add ¾ cup of GoGo Quinoa Royal White Quinoa. Stir in 2 cups of vegetable broth, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the quinoa is tender. Fill the roasted bell pepper cups with the quinoa mixture, and serve as a side dish.

Quinoa Banana Parfait

No barbecue party is complete without dessert, so give your loved ones a treat with this twist on the banana parfait. Without removing the peel, slice 2 ripe bananas lengthwise. Brush the bananas with lemon juice to avoid browning, and set aside. Next, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon in a bowl, and brush the mixture on the bananas. Place the fruit on a clean and well-oiled grill, and grill for about 2 minutes on each side. After cooking, cut the grilled bananas into circles. Next, cook 1/2 cup GoGo Royal Red and White Quinoa with the milk alternative of your choice (we love soy!) and maple syrup to your taste until absorbed and tender. In parfait glasses, arrange the sweetened quinoa mixture, grilled bananas, and a dollop of vegan yoghurt  into layers, and top with more grilled bananas before serving.

Adding quinoa to your barbecued dishes can make your grilled treats healthier, and higher in protein. Try these quinoa recipes for your next barbecue party: they’re guaranteed to be a hit among your family and friends! 

 

Written by Ali Rennoll.