Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Joy of Baking - Wild Rice and Quinoa Muffins

When I read Tara's piece on quinoa, I told her I would post a recipe using this wonderful grain. I got it from Mollie Katzen's site a while back, and have made these muffins many times since. They are a meal in themselves. Look at all those ingredients! A powerhouse of nourishment, but also, very, very delicious. Tom, who doesn't care for the taste of quinoa in another recipe I make (and will share sometime) loves these muffins.

The recipe does involve a few steps, but hey, so does a main dish, and this is as nutritious as anything I can imagine. The first thing with quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, is that they are coated with saponins, a natural covering to keep the birds away. These are used for soap and must be washed off before using. If you buy your quinoa in a box, you probably don't need to do this, but I get mine in bulk. So, let's see, what to do while holding a strainer under running water for five minutes. I let it be a very Zen time. I play with the sprayer, and make little mounds in the quinoa like those metal things you put your hands in to make a print. Sometimes I spray in one place and make a little quinoa fountain. Today I also looked out the window at the dark day and falling rain, marveling at the cheerful little birds at the feeders.

1. Cook one cup dry wild rice until done, maybe 40 minutes.
2. Cook one cup dry quinoa until done, about 15-20 minutes. Along with the fun to be had washing quinoa is the unique beauty of it after it is cooked. You know it is done when this little ring forms around it.

3. Mix 1 1/4 cups wild rice and 1 1/4 cups quinoa together. There will be some left over with which you can make a nice lunch with sautéed vegetables.
4. Add 2/3 cup cranberries.
5. In a separate bowl mix together:
2 cups flour
3/4 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
6. Add to grain/cranberries mixture.
7. Beat an egg, add 1 cup milk, and 1 1/2 t. vanilla, and add to other mixture.
8. Add 1/4 cup melted butter

Spoon into greased muffin cups, and bake in preheated 375º F oven for 20-25 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 12-18 muffins, depending on size.

We're going to have them for supper with an easy, light, delicious soup I call "Louise's Soup" after the woman who gave me the recipe.

1. Put a 28 oz. can of crushed, chopped, or diced tomatoes through the food mill into a saucepan. You may eliminate this if you want a chunkier soup. I prefer more of a broth-y soup for this recipe.
2. Sauté an onion in olive oil, turn down heat, and add a couple cloves of garlic and cook some more.
3. Add the onions and garlic to the tomatoes.
4. Stir 1 T. broth ( I use Rapunzel vegetable broth) into a cup of warm water. Add this to the tomato mixture, along with 3 more cups of water.
5. Add 1/2 a 10 oz. package of frozen spinach.
6. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to simmer.


  1. Lovely post ( much more thorough than mine, I might add ;-) ) and really delicious looking muffins. I have some wild rice (locally grown and all that) so will have to try this - perhaps when I have company since I fear my husband would not go for these. Thank you for your post!

  2. Hey Tara, you could make them all for yourself! Honestly, they are one of those things you either love or don't like at all. If you love them, you could eat many. :<)


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