Search The Garden of Eden


Follow Me on Pinterest

All of the content and images featured on The Garden of Eden are © Darcy Eden 2011-2014 unless otherwise stated.  If you post an image of mine on your blog/website, please link back to The Garden of Eden and credit me accordingly.  Thanks! 

Images that are not my own are credited as such.  If I have either failed to credit accurately or someone wishes an image to be removed from this blog, I will gladly comply.

Entries in Quinoa (3)


Carrot & Quinoa Muffins

Hello?  Are you still reading?  I was worried that I would lose a number of you immediately after you read the title of this post.  I, too, was a skeptic.  When J mentioned Carrot & Quinoa Muffins as one of the many items in her Kentucky Derby party spread, I stared at them in disbelief.  I've never been a huge fan of carrots in baked goods and, frankly, they sounded too healthy to be good.  I should have known better than to doubt J, the woman who introduced me to my all-time favorite Kale and Pear Salad.

My Dad had the same reaction to these muffins.  I offered to send him home with a few and he wrinkled his nose at me like he wouldn't possibly enjoy them.  Then he tried one.  He left our place with a bag full of muffins.  Later, my Mom called for the recipe.

 What I'm trying to say is do not be dissuaded by the healthful ingredients in these muffins.  The carrot flavor is subtle.  The coconut oil provides undertones of coconut, but nothing overpowering.  The quinoa gives the muffins a wonderful texture.  These are dynamite. 

I've made these three times and have a few tips as a result.  First, I think the coconut oil makes a huge difference in how these taste and I'd recommend using it.  I found mine at Sunflowers Market and I am sure they have it at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.  The first time I made these, I used 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil.  The muffins tasted great but were a bit greasy.  The second time around, I made these with butter and I frankly didn't like them as much. The third time (I know...ridiculous), I made them with 1/3 cup of coconut oil and they were tasty and less greasy.  Finally,don't overfill the muffin cups!  3/4 of the way full produces lovely muffins that stay in the confines of their wrappers.  Trust me on this one... 

Carrot & Quinoa Muffins
Yield = 16 muffins
Adapted from Fresh365 

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (all-purpose flour works well, too)
3/4 cup almond flour (again, all-purpose flour works well, too, but I like mixing in almond flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (substitute 1/2 cup unsalted butter if you prefer)
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup loosely-packed, grated carrots
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease or line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together quinoa, sugar, flours, baking soda, and salt.  In a small bowl, mix together the coconut oil (allow to cool), Greek yogurt, vanilla, and eggs.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing well.  Gently fold in the carrots and walnuts until just mixed.

Divide batter evenly such that none of the muffin tins is filled more than 3/4 full.  For me, this yielded 16 muffins.  Transfer the muffins to the oven.  Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Spicy Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad

Another quinoa post?  Yes, yes it is.  I seem to be in a bit of an obsessive phase where quinoa is concerned.  Last week it was the Beet & Quinoa Tabouli and this week I've mixed it up a bit with broccoli and fresh mozzarella.  I love that quinoa cooks in just a few minutes, and with this recipe the broccoli roasts while the quinoa cooks so this comes together in a matter of minutes.  Roasting the broccoli in lemon juice, olive oil, and red pepper flakes really makes this dish... we enjoyed it so much that I've made it twice in the last week!

Spicy Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Gaby Dalkin via Design Sponge 


  • 2 bunches broccoli, stalks trimmed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to make this as hot as you please)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, about 1 1/2 inches.

3. Place broccoli in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and toss to coat the broccoli.  Transfer the broccoli to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 14 to 18 minutes until stalks are tender and the heads of the broccoli are just lightly browned.  Remove from oven and set aside.

4. While the broccoli is roasting, combine the quinoa and vegetable stock in a medium-sized pot.  Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Let the quinoa cook until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.

6. Once the quinoa is fully cooked, fluff with a fork, and toss in the roasted broccoli, diced mozzarella, and halved cherry tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Quinoa & Chickpeas

One of my favorite days each month is when my new  Bon Appétit magazine arrives.  I use my favorite sticky flags (although these Kitchen Page Flags may be more appropriate and equally as fun) to mark all of the recipes I'd like to try and then I email my college roommate, Kate, a list of all the recipes we should try (we alternate who sends the list each month).  We usually create a pretty long list and while we are lucky to make it through two or three recipes each month, it is really the ritual that I love... the flagging, the list-making and the resulting email and photo exchanges about the results.  It almost makes me feel like we are cooking together instead of being 1,003 miles apart (thank you, Google Maps).

This month there were two recipes I wanted to try right away.  I like taking leftovers for lunch and healthy salads are the best and easiest option.  Neither of these is technically a salad, but they are both delicious and easy and quick to make.

Sautéing the spring vegetablesThe first recipe is for Quinoa and Spring Vegetable Pilaf.  I love quinoa!  While it is grain-like in texture, it is actually a chenopod, which makes it most closely related to species such as beets and spinach (and super healthy).  One unfortunate side effect of quinoas recent popularity (described in this NY Times article) is that the price of quinoa has risen dramatically, which has made it virtually unaffordable in Bolivia where people have lived off of it for centuries.  The article doesn't offer a solution to this issue, but it certainly is good to think about how our actions impact others.


Quinoa and Spring Vegetable Pilaf (adapted from Bon Appétit)
Yields 4 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, well rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups frozen petite peas, thawed, divided
  • 5 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), halved, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, thickly sliced
  • 1 14-ounce bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
Bring 2 1/2 cups water to boil in small saucepan. Add quinoa and 1 teaspoon salt; return to boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed, 15 to 17 minutes. Drain if necessary. 
Puree broth, peas, 4 tablespoons mint, and garlic in blender until smooth.
Melt butter in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add leek and shallots; sauté until soft and light brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, then asparagus; sauté until mushrooms are tender and asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in puree; stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add quinoa; stir to coat.

Divide pilaf among bowls; sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon mint and serve.

After adding the pea purée (love that green color)
Spring vegetable quinoa

The other great recipe from this month's magazine comes from Molly Wizenberger, the author of the fabulous cooking blog Orangette and the enjoyable book A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table.  Her recipes are delicious and this one did not disappoint.  It couldn't be easier (it took maybe ten minutes to toss together) and it was tasty Sunday night for dinner and at lunch yesterday and today!  Don't miss the accompanying column, too.

Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan and Fresh Herbs (and thanks to my mom for the cute bowl holding the chickpeas)

Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan and Fresh Herbs
Yields 2 servings

  • 1 15- to 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/3 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Coarse kosher salt
Combine rinsed and drained chickpeas, chopped fresh basil, chopped Italian parsley, fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and pressed garlic clove in medium bowl. Add grated Parmesan cheese and toss gently to blend all ingredients thoroughly. Season chickpea salad to taste with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  The salad can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Serve salad chilled or at room temperature.