Quinoa Burrito

Lunch box burrito

I go to this lovely little café in Pointe-Claire village called Marmalade Café and they specialize in unprocessed, body-friendly food. They even bake their own signature bread which has an amazingly soft texture and contains ground flax so its delicious and great for you. A sandwich with this bread is unreal! It smells heavenly in there! They also have, once tasted, the only hot chocolate you will ever want again. I often have their quinoa wrap which was packed with flavour and good-for-you ingredients; tomato, peppers, onion and dark leafy greens.

Quinoa is very high in protein and contains twice the amount of fibre in other grains and is high in iron among other things. It also contains all the amino acids that your body needs which is hard to get from other food source! Its a must if your working towards healthier eating. I always keep cooked quinoa in the fridge because it is so versatile although it is delicious plain as well.

So I combined my love of quinoa wraps and Mexican food and made these delicious quinoa burritos! I could eat one for lunch every day. The cheese is the glue that holds it all together, not mention the gooey deliciousness it adds, and the black beans add the starchiness that quinoa lacks. Yes, quinoa has that one fault. 😉

A few words about rice cookers. Not only do they make perfect rice every time, they can make perfect Farro, Barley, Polenta and yes… you guessed it, quinoa too. Its hassle free. You throw in the required ratio of ingredients and let it be. This is now the only way I make quinoa but of course you can make it on the cook-top.



1+1/2 cups of quinoa, rinsed twice and drained (Makes about 2 cups cooked)

2+1/4 cups of water or broth

1 tsp salt

This ratio makes more than you’ll need but cooked quinoa never goes to waste! You can make a salad with it by adding your favourite dressing, walnuts  dried cranberries etc… or have it for breakfast instead of oatmeal. I top it with berries and a little maple syrup…sometimes I add yogurt. Its great.


540ml can Aylmer Accents: Chili Seasonings Diced Stewed Tomatoes (Found at Metro and Provigo/Loblaws)

or 540ml can of plain diced tomato

1/2 french shallot, minced (or equal amount of regular onion)

1 clove garlic minced

1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained (more or less; depends how bean-ey you like it)


Note: Try to find the chili diced tomatoes, they cut down on time and the flavours are perfect for this dish. However, if using plain diced tomatoes, add ground cumin, chopped mild fresh chili pepper, and your favourite chili powder. (to taste)

Other ingredients:

Kraft or Cracker Barrel shredded Tex-Mex cheese

Large whole wheat tortillas such as POM


Can make ahead: Add rinsed quinoa, salt and water to a pot. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and allow to cook undisturbed until all of the liquid has evaporated. Fluff quinoa and set aside.

If using a rice cooker (fav. method) : Combine quinoa, salt and water in a medium rice cooker. Set to “regular” cycle (white rice). After cooking, allow the quinoa to continue steaming for an additional 5 minutes on the keep warm setting (or with the machine turned off)

In the meantime, heat a medium saucepan on medium. Heat a little olive oil and throw in minced shallot. Once shallots cook down and become a little translucent, add garlic and sauté for 30-45 seconds (do not brown).

Add diced tomatoes, black beans and simmer for about 30 minutes to thicken. If it is cooking down too rapidly, lower heat add a few splashes of water.

Add about 1 +1/4 cup of cooked quinoa to sauce until combined. Actually, add as much or as little as you like. Just ensure that its not too saucy as it will make your burrito soggy.

Now that all your cooking is done you can assemble. Take your tortilla and place about 1/2 cup or a little more of your quinoa mixture (again, this is a guideline), add the desired amount of cheese and fold like so: Yeah, it can be tricky sometimes hehe.

Anecdote – This was the 4th and last take of my video. After this, I would run out of tortillas.  So, not only did my husband speak during every take, he also decided to empty the garbage behind me! I managed to crop the video and add music but you still see his legs. OMG lol . *Blushing* You’ll have to forgive me as I’m a real person with a full time job and a husband and this was just me making supper. C’est tout! 😉

PS: The song is called Come by  Jain


Here’s a handy diagram too!

Burrito folding


The last step is to get those beautiful grill marks and melt the cheese! I use my panini grill or my grill pan. You can add toppings like salsa, avocado and more cheese. You can also bake your burritos with salsa + cheese so it gets all gooey and melty.

Healthy never tasted so good 🙂



Health benefits of Quinoa:

1. Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids which help your body:

  • Break down food
  • Grow
  • Repair body tissue
  • Perform many other body functions
2. Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.
3. Quinoa contains Iron. Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.
4. Quinoa contains lysine. Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.
5. Quinoa is rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
6. Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2). B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.
7. Quinoa has a high content of manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.


Source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4994/7-Benefits-of-Quinoa-The-Supergrain-of-the-Future.html

Health benefits of black beans: The black bean’s fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. The fiber in black beans helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.

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