Indian-Inspired Quinoa with Curried Lentils

This is my second post on quinoa related to an upcoming class with The Hunger Coalition on healthy cooking in the slow cooker according to the guidelines of MyPlate.  We are going to teach this class at the Wood River YMCA, and I think it is going to be tons of fun.  I have been asked to de-mystify cooking with quinoa across different flavors.  So I’ve been experimenting at home with some quinoa dishes inspired by various ethnicities.  This dish is Indian-inspired.   I’ve set up the recipe based on Nurture’s Recipe Framework for a Slow Cooker and MyPlate.

As I mentioned in a previous post, one thing I’ve learned about cooking quinoa in the slow cooker:  it works great, but it cooks fast.  So for best results, think of cooking everything else (broth, veggies, protein) on Low for most of the day (6-7 hours), then add the quinoa at the end and turn to High for about 1.5 to 2 hours.   If you leave the quinoa in the slow cooker all day, it will turn to mush.  Adding it at the end and turning up the heat works great and keeps your dish to a one-pot meal, which I love!

Quinoa Curry with Lentils (to be served at the September 17 Nurture/The Hunger Coalition Class)

Indian-Inspired Quinoa with Curried Lentils (to be served at the September 17 Nurture/The Hunger Coalition Class)

 Whole grains (~1/4 of your plate)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (I rinsed it ahead of time and left it in a bowl right next to the slow cooker, to add at the end)

Protein (~1/4 of your plate)
-1 can garbanzo beans
-1/4 cup lentils

Veggies and fruits (1/2 of your plate)
-1 can crushed tomatoes
-1 sweet potato
-3 medium carrots diced
-1/2 small head of cauliflower
-1.5 cups spinach

-1 container (32 oz) chicken or veggie broth
-8oz coconut milk

-1 tablespoon olive oil
-3 cloves garlic
-1 Tbsp chopped ginger
-1 Tbsp curry powder (this makes the curry flavor strong!  Reduce if you’re goin’ easy)
-1 Tbsp crushed cumin and coriander mix

Directions.  Combine everything above EXCEPT quinoa.  (If you are using frozen spinach, go ahead and add it at the beginning.  If you are using fresh, add at the end with the quinoa).  Cook in slow cooker on Low for about 7 hours, or if you make a double batch you can leave it at least another hour.  About 1.5-2 hours prior to serving, add the quinoa and turn to High.   Cook until you see the quinoa’s little white tails.  That’s the signal that the quinoa is done.    Yum!


  1. Hi! Sam and I enjoy quinoa. I mix it with brown rice and garlic. I do find it to be pricey. Where are you recommending people go to find affordable quinoa?

    LOVE your posts! LOVED hanging out with you. I miss my KSD friends every day!


    • Hi Paula! We miss our Kids State Dinner friends too! It is so great that we are staying in touch. I think the best bets for quinoa from a price perspective are Costco or a place that has bulk bins. Quinoa HAS gotten much more pricey in the last few years. The pre-rinsed is more expensive so buy regular and just rinse yourself!
      Keep commenting and stay in touch!

Speak Your Mind


Share This Post!