Close-up of quinoa in a dish
#100daysofcooking, Recipes, Wild Rose D-Tox

Day 31: Not a keener for quinoa? Hide it in a meatloaf

Meatloaf with Quinoa and Sautéed Vegetables

Occasionally overheard in the kitchen:

Me: “Do you want potatoes, rice or quinoa?”

Dan: “Potatoes or rice.” Or he might just cut to the chase with, “Not quinoa.”

Not spoken: my relief.

Quinoa is called “a healthy wonder grain” by A “complete protein and fantastic wheat-free alternative” by Reader’s Digest describes it as “a grain that looks a bit like couscous, is as versatile as rice, and tastes delicious on its own or in these quinoa recipes.”

Terrific publicity. But I still don’t like it very much.

In truth, I have made some great southwestern-style salads and sides, dressing up the quinoa with chipotle, black beans, lime, et cetera. But there is something about its appearance when cooked (a bit like porridge) and its texture (a bit like bubble wrap), that doesn’t do it for me.

Solution? Hide it in plain sight.

Close-up photo of meatloaf made with quinoa
Cooked quinoa inside the meatloaf.

This meatloaf, adapted from a recipe from Terry Willard, creator of the Wild Rose D-Tox, uses quinoa instead of breadcrumbs.

I like making meatloaf because it can be jazzed up with sautéed vegetables or tomato sauce. And also because it can become a meatloaf sandwich for next day’s lunch.

Whoever thought meatball sandwiches were a thing clearly has never seen me (or my meatballs) roll.

Kitchen castoff used


Meatloaf made with quinoa, plus roasted cauliflower and green beans.
Quinoa replaces breadcrumbs in this meatloaf recipe.

This is how we did it


  • ¼ cup quinoa grains
  • 1 lb (about 500 g) lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • optional: chopped red pepper, fresh corn kernels, mushrooms
  • 3 – 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper (seeds removed), minced
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 to 2 tsp dried (or chopped fresh) herbs — oregano, thyme, savoury, sage or rosemary all work well
  • salt and pepper


Cook quinoa according to package directions and let cool.

Sauté onion, chipotle and any other vegetables that you are. Add garlic near the end so it doesn’t burn

In a bowl combine eggs, beef, quinoa, sautéed vegetables and herbs, and mix well. Place in a greased loaf tray and bake at 350 degrees for an hour

Some variations

#1: Use 1 egg instead of two, but add tomato sauce (½ cup to 1 cup, as you like) and a dash of Worcestershire sauce to the beef mixture before cooking

#2: Use 1 egg instead of two. Skip the chipotle. Add ½ cup tomato sauce and 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce to the beef mixture before cooking

#3: Make a tangy tomato sauce as a topping. Sauté 1 tsp garlic and a ½ cup each of diced onion, red pepper, thin sliced mushrooms. Stir in ½ cup tomato sauce, then spoon over the meatloaf before baking.

Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.

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2 thoughts on “Day 31: Not a keener for quinoa? Hide it in a meatloaf”

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