Spring Quinoa with Peas and Corn

Spring Quinoa with Peas and Corn - Live Simply

I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you, friend” for sticking around. I’m not your average healthy food blog.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I love a good smoothie and green juice, but remember the time we talked about my disdain for kale? Yep, that was the time.  I’ve come around and now enjoy kale salad and even kale chips.

Oh, and then there was the time I admitted to still using Tide? But, don’t worry, I repented and love my homemade laundry laundry soap.

There was that time I encouraged you to bake crusty bread with (gasp!) white flour.

Oh, yes, thank you for the reminder. I confessed to loving Taco Bell. Don’t hit the back button… wait! I can explain. That was a few years ago (before real food). If it helps, I shared a healthy fajita recipe alternative.

Shall we discuss the bashing of beets? Maybe not. Rest assured, I’ve repented!  I love beets now. In fact, I use them in everything from salad to smoothies…we’re tight.

It can get a bit risque around here, at least for a healthy living blog. I like to think of it as being real, with nothing to hide. That’s why good friends are awesome (like you guys). They stick around even when you’re eating the (homemade) white bread and filling the washing machine with Tide. I love you!

I’m ready to fess up again. Okay, sit down… here goes nothing.

I really hate quinoa. I’m talking about serious dislike. Don’t put it on my plate, I’m not going to eat it. I realize as a healthy living blogger I should embrace the nutrient-packed grain with open arms, but I just can’t do it. Frankly, the taste is just far too bland and the after-taste is too much to bare. Quinoa and I just aren’t friends. I want us to be, badly. She’s like the popular girl in high school that everyone loves.  Then, there’s little me standing in the corner wanting to like her and hang out, but I just can’t find the right style or courage to make it happen.

Spring Quinoa with Peas and Corn - Live Simply

In an effort to be cool and try to hang out, I bought a bag of Quinoa. Of course, I couldn’t just go for the tiny little 8 oz. bag at the health food store, I had to go all out. I’m talking 4 lbs. of quinoa from Costco.  Over the course of a month surprising things have happened in our house:

1. Quinoa and I started to hang:  Yep, it’s true. I finally was able to muster the courage to hang with the cool kid on the block, and guess what? It turns out she’s super fun, and we get along great!

2. Quinoa needs spice: My issue with quinoa really wasn’t quinoa herself. My problem was the way I prepared quinoa. Turns out quinoa is pretty bland unless it’s cooked in flavor (think homemade broth, chicken or beef), and mixed with fresh, flavor-rich combos.

Once again I stand before you repentant and ready to say, “I love you Quinoa. I’m sorry for all the hard feelings I hard toward you. Turns out you are fun and delicious. Thank you for proving me wrong”.

Spring Quinoa with Peas and Corn - Live Simply

Today, in an effort to make things right with my good friend quinoa, I’m sharing a recipe that’s full of flavor. A simple spring quinoa mixed with peas and corn. Add in a bit of fresh garlic and spring onions for a robust flavor and slight crunch. This simple quinoa meal only takes minutes to make, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the fabulous spring weather without spending hours in the kitchen.

Come meet my friend quinoa, stay, let’s hang out.

Spring Quinoa with Peas and Corn - Live Simply

Spring Quinoa with Peas and Corn
  • 2 cups quinoa (where to buy)
  • 4 cups broth (homemade chicken, beef, or veggie)
  • 2 TB good-quality butter
  • ½ cup frozen corn kernels
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 spring onions (greens and whites), diced
  • good-quality salt, to taste (where to buy)
  1. In a saucepan (I use my favorite Dutch Oven) place the quinoa and broth. Bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, lower the heat and allow to simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa (approx. 10 minutes). Don't overcook! Place the saucepan with cooked quinoa to the side.
  3. In a skillet (I love my Cast Iron), melt 2 TB butter.
  4. Once the butter is melted, add the frozen peas and corn (no need to defrost). Over medium heat, saute the corn and peas for about 5 minutes until cooked. Make a well in the skillet by pushing the corn and peas to the side. Add the minced garlic. Saute until fragrant (about a minute). Combine the garlic, peas, and corn in the skillet. Add the diced green onions, cooking for two minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. Spoon the cooked quinoa into the peas and corn mixture. Combine ingredients in the pan. Season with salt to taste, and if desired add an extra TB butter.
  6. Serve warm.

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  • taranbuss says:

    You’re not alone. I’m not the biggest fan of quinoa either. Sorry quinoa, no offense.

  • Julie says:

    I am curious how big your spring onions where in this recipe? The ones I bought are pretty large and I am wondering if I should use 2 or if it will be too oniony (is that a word :). Each one is about 4x’s the size of a regular green onion.

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Julie, Green (spring) onions tend to be much milder to taste, so two green onions shouldn’t overwhelm the dish with too much onion flavor. If your green onions are really big, try adding one and if needed finishing the quinoa with more.

  • Megan says:

    Do you rinse your quinoa? I find that the hardest part of cooking it. I haven’t figure out a good way to rinse yet. Any suggestions? It’s so tiny it slips through about everything!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hi Megan, I don’t rinse my quinoa. I used to, but stopped because of the issue you are having…the tiny grains escaping. Now I just cook the quinoa in a mineral-rich broth.

  • Megan says:

    I have read there are toxins on the outside of it and that it leaves a bitter taste. Have you had this issue? I always cook it in my homemade broth. Everything taste better in broth. 🙂

  • Sam says:

    Hi Kristin,

    I am a newbie to your site and just tried your gluten free almond flour banana bread and still cooking in the oven. Just started eating quinoa and by surprise we liked it. I have a question though, my quinoa gets mushy and stick together after I added the dressing. Is there something that I am doing wrong? I cooked mine in the rice cooker. It doesn’t look as whole like yours in the picture.


    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Sam, Oh no! I’ve never made quinoa in a rice cooker, so don’t have much experience. I’d add the quinoa, peas, corn, and green onions to a skillet and cook (stirring) for a couple minutes and to help the extra liquid cook down. Hope that helps!

  • Shaina says:

    I just came across this post… Rinsing quinoa in a ‘fine mesh sieve’ works amazing! They are inexpensive to purchase, I use mine often (I also use it for sifting flour, especially coconut). After rinsing the quinoa, I put some coconut oil in the pot I’m going to cook the quinoa in, and ‘toast’ the quinoa until most of the moisture is gone (you can also add any spices or garlic at this point too). This seems to give it a more robust nuttier flavour, and usually helps to make the final product fluffier. Then just add the broth to your pot, boil and continue on! I have an amazing recipe for mango, chicken, quinoa salad that everyone in my house loves!

  • Noelle says:

    Hi there! Want to try this tonight – how many servings does your recipe yield? And when you say 2 cups of quinoa – do you mean cooked or pre-cooked? Thanks!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Noelle, I think you’ll love this recipe :)! You’ll need 2 cups of uncooked quinoa. This will yield about 4 cups of quinoa once it’s cooked in the broth. As a side dish, this recipe will feed 4 people, possibly with some leftovers.

  • Natalie says:

    Hi Kristin,
    I just made the quinoa recipe last night and was amazed with the difference of cooking in the broth. It even converted my husband from a quinoa sceptic!
    Since its just the two of us I’m now going to use the left over quinoa for an arancini recipe.

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