How I Get My Kids To Eat Quinoa


So my pledge this month is to update my kid’s menu options.


Having amassed a pitiful range of dishes that number around ten (over a period of about twenty-five years, I might add) I decided that I should expand my recipe repertoire somewhat.

I committed to trying out ten new meals, four of them vegetarian during the month of November.

One thing I’ve learned is that perhaps the reason for my hit-or-miss attempts at cooking is that I rarely seem to read the directions all the way through. Writing up these recipes, I found that I didn’t complete two out of the three. Doh! I’ll do better next time.

Here are the results of my first weeks’ attempt.

Garlic Prawns

Both my kids love garlic and one loves prawns while the other does not. So I thought this would be a good try. It was a slightly different recipe to the ones I normally see, what with the orange juice and all, and it turns out to be a keeper.

They both loved it.

Simple and very quick – two of my favorite words.

Instead of grilling the prawns, I sauteed them and served them over quinoa spaghetti.

But don’t tell my kids it was quinoa. They think it is regular wheat pasta and can’t tell the difference! They’ll immediately pretend to barf with disgusting noises and wild eyes, if they knew what it really was.

Broccoli completed the meal (as it often does in my house.)

Garlic Prawns With Quinoa Spaghetti And BroccoliIngredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white wine (optional)
  • 30 tiger prawns, peeled and deveined


  1. In a glass dish, mix together the olive oil, mustard, garlic, lemon juice, orange juice, basil and white wine. Add the prawns, and stir to coat. Cover, and let marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Heat an outdoor grill to high heat.
  3. Thread prawns onto skewers. Grill for 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until pink.

Baked Scallops With Mushrooms

Continuing the seafood theme of the week and the fact that scallops were on sale in Wholefoods, I decided to make this dish.

Except instead of calling it Baked Scallops With Mushrooms, I’m going to call it Baked Scallops with Massive Coronary because that was what I thought I was going to have when I ate it.

This was a ridiculously rich dish. Much of this was my fault in that I used heavy cream instead of light. But really, was it necessary to saute the breadcrumbs in butter? No, it was not.

It was also a bit bland but perhaps that was because the ingredient list didn’t mention the nutmeg, white wine or slivered almonds that were quietly slipped in at the end of the directions.

And so happy was I that it was turning out to be a success by my standards, I omitted to read all the way through to the end. Does anyone?

Oh, you do? Well, I’ve put the missing things in the ingredient list just in case. 🙂

I also found it needed double the amount of breadcrumbs listed so I changed that too, arrogant chef that I am.

This happily fed four people with a little left over at the end which I ate for breakfast the next day because you know how I hate to waste food. 😉


  • 1pt. scallops (1lb)
  • 1/2lb. mushrooms
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. light cream
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 c. dry bread crumbs
  • white wine
  • nutmeg
  • slivered almonds


Clean scallops. Wash and slice mushrooms. Melt 2 teaspoons butter and saute mushrooms for 5 minutes. Make cream sauce with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour. Cook 5 minutes. Slowly add cream, salt and pepper. Melt remaining butter and saute bread crumbs. Combine scallops with mushroom and cream sauce. Place in shallow buttered baking dish. Top with buttered crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Add nutmeg and white wine, perhaps toasted almonds slivers, too.

Cheddar Beef & Potato Casserole

And lastly because I was on quite a roll and I had leftover beef steak, I had a go with this dish. It sounds fancy but really it’s what I know as Shepherd’s Pie with a bit of poshing up. I forgot to add the egg, but no matter. Everyone loved it.


  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups diced roast beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup beef gravy or prepared brown gravy
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
  • dash garlic powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • beef broth or water, if needed
  • 2 cups prepared mashed potatoes, seasoned
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


Grind or finely chop the beef and onion. Add gravy, wine, and seasonings. Add broth, if necessary, to make a moist mixture. Put beef mixture in a shallow 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Combine mashed potato with butter and egg; mix well then spread over the meat mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.
Serves 6.

Cheddar & Beef Casserole

OK, what should I have done about the heavy cream? And can you get your kids to eat quinoa? Any recipes for me? Let me know in the comments!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary E. Ulrich
November 8, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Are the pictures the actual meals you cooked? They look professional.

Wow, all the dishes look and sound great. And if the boys give their seal of approval they must be terrific.

Good for you Alison. And they are even colorful and healthy.
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Alison Golden November 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Yes, they the real deal. I don’t normally present them like that though. Just writing that made me laugh. I laid them out all nicely just for the photos!


Joanna November 9, 2010 at 6:21 am

We like this one:

You could substitute Greek yogurt for the heavy cream. 🙂
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Alison Golden November 9, 2010 at 6:35 am

Greek yogurt, huh? Thank you Joanna, I will definitely do that. That much cream just didn’t feel good. And thank you for the recipe, I’ll check it out. 🙂 I might even make it and post the result here!


Semi-crunchy Mama November 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Nice looking meals! I’m impressed with your goal to try out ten new meals. I’m shooting for one new one a week, although we’ve been doing lots of food exploration lately due to my son’s food intolerances.

Beanie likes quinoa. One of our favorites is quinoa for breakfast:

I’ll have to try the garlic prawns — they look great!
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Alison Golden November 11, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I will check that recipe out S-C Mama. And I know all about the experimenting due to intolerances. It’s a lot of work especially when you have a baby. Take care, and good luck!


michele November 15, 2010 at 8:35 am

My kids LOVE Quinoa Oatmeal,


Alison Golden November 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Hi Michele:

Is that quoatmeal you make yourself? I never thought of that.


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