How To Cook Quinoa – A Samsonite Staple

quinoa 2

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains which makes it great for us peeps with a busy travel schedule. It is an extremely high-energy grain and has been grown and consumed for about 8,000 years on the high plains of the Andes Mountains in South America, having a remarkable tolerance for different growing conditions. Quinoa is able to survive high altitudes, thin and cold air, hot sun, salty or sandy soil, little rainfall, and sub-freezing temperatures.. which makes it the perfect fuel for flyers. Inca warriors ate balls of quinoa and fat to keep them going on long marches and in battle and more recently NASA has proposed quinoa as an ideal food for long-duration space flights.

Quinoa can be used in a variety of way which makes it versatile and fun to eat. It can be reheated with a splash of nut milk for breakfast porridge; or you can add dried fruit, coconut nectar, nuts and cinnamon for a sweet treat. Add finely chopped raw vegetables and dressing for a cooling salad or add chopped cooked root vegetables for a warming side dish. Uncooked quinoa can be kept in a sealed glass jar and stored in a cool, dry and dark place for up to a year.

Health Benefits of Quinoa

  • Contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein
  • Has a protein content equal to milk
  • High in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and Vitamin E
  • Gluten free; easy to digest
  • Ideal for endurance
  • Strengthen the kidneys, heart and lungs


  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup rinsed and preferably soaked quinoa. Quinoa must be rinsed prior to cooking to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa produces a soapy solution in water.



  • Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa with cool water until the water runs clear.
  • Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 12mins with the lid on, until all the water has been absorbed.


I like to add a piece of kombu to the cooking water, to help make the proteins more digestible. I am sure none of you want to be bloated or crop dusting at 30,000 feet.

  • Remove from heat and let stand for 5mins, covered.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve
Cooked quinoa

Cooked quinoa

For inspiration on creative ways to prepare this onboard, check out my previous interview with Jay Rob from A Fly Guys Cabin Crew Lounge.


Berry Ripe Smoothie

This mornings breakfast smoothie was inspired by my favourite child hood chocolate bar, the Cherry Ripe. I am pretty sure most Aussies would agree that the Cherry Ripe is right up there in the top 5 preferred junk food choices, alongside things like Twisties, Burger Rings etc. etc.

My Berry Ripe smoothie teases you taste buds with the Cherry Ripe flavour, without the guilt and hidden harmfuls.


Berry Ripe Smoothie

Berry Ripe Smoothie

250 ml coconut water
2 tbsp freshly shaved coconut
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 banana
1 cup frozen organic Black Forest berries
1 tbsp cacao powder
dash of organic raw honey (I was lucky enough to pick mine up direct from a village in the Mayan jungle of Mexico)

Soak the chia in the coconut water for 15-20 mins for easier digestion and absorption.

You can use this time to do an express yoga session which helps you start your day feeling more alive, energised, clear and productive for the day.

Blend everything together and garnish with raw cacao nibs, extra coconut shavings, a few cherries and a sprig of mint.

Get slurping!

 The ripe juicy berries and moist coconut smothered in cacao ensures a unique taste experience.

The ripe juicy berries and moist coconut smothered in cacao ensures a unique taste experience.

Sweet ~ Black Forest Omelette

Wow, this was a pleasant surprise to the taste buds, let me tell you!! Salivating at the gills I’d say!!! I am not sure whether this is what my Personal Trainer had in mind when she told me I needed a protein, carbohydrate and healthy fat combo after my morning workout. It ticks all the boxes as far as I can see and tastes a lot better than a powdered protein, food like substance. This is definitely a much healthier take on a stock standard American style sweet pancake.
This was inspired by Amy Crawford of The Holistic Ingredient fame. I thought I’d let my creative juices get to work and this was the finished product. Not bad for a first attempt, even if I do say so myself! For a copy of Amy’s ebook Click here to view more details.

There are so many delectable yet healthy recipes! I highly recommend you grab a copy for enjoyable and nutritious recipe ideas!

A nice treat for breakfast in bed, at home, on your day off ~ with that someone special. Definitely not something I would recommend, packed in your Delsey! ;-)

Sweet~Black Forest Omelette

    • 2 free range, organic, eggs
    • 1 heaped dessert spoon of fresh desiccated coconut
    • 1 teaspoon of milled organic flaxseed, sunflower and pumpkin seeds


  • 1 dash of coconut nectar to taste
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tsp of sifted cacao powder
  • 1 heaped dessert spoon of organic Greek style goats milk yoghurt or Co Yo (today I used organic vanilla flavoured cows milk yoghurt, as I didn’t have to resources to go with the recommended products)
  • 1/3 cup of frozen organic Black Forest berries
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 tsp coconut butter

Putting it together

  • Place the berries in a small saucepan with a dash of water and heat over medium heat until defrosted.
  • Lightly beat eggs with water in a small bowl.
  • Gently stir in the cinnamon, cacao, coconut, nectar and milled flaxseed, sunflower and pumpkin seed mix.
  • Once the eggs are ready, heat the coconut oil in a non-stick fry pan over a high heat.
  • Pour the mixture in and tilt pan so eggs cover base.
  • Cook for two minutes or until the mixture just begins to set.
  • Separate the berries from the liquid and place the berries in an even layer on top of the egg mixture.
  • Continue to cook over a medium heat until omelette has set.
  • Drizzle over yoghurt and fold omelette in half and serve onto plate immediately.
  • Garnish with a dollop of yoghurt, leftover berry juice and a sprig of fresh mint.

Grab a fork and dig in!

The vanilla flavoured yoghurt actually complemented this quite nicely. You could almost call it a breakfast dessert, although without all the highly processed sugar and crapola!

Low fat normally means chemical shit storm and extra sugar. This wouldn't be my first choice as far as yoghurt goes and I would definitely recommend a full fat option as a preference. Today I had to go with the best choice available.

Low fat normally means chemical shit storm and extra sugar. This wouldn’t be my first choice as far as yoghurt goes and I would definitely recommend a full fat option as a preference. Today I had to go with the best choice available.

Cool Down The Summer Heat


Cool Down The Summer Heat

I am really getting right into this green smoothie thing and I am right on track to making this a daily habit.

A combo of pear, cucumber, pineapple, basil and ginger. This number, really is a taste sensation.

For the full recipe go to:

Get some into you, for some rapid goodness. Those of you who are hot enough already, omit the ginger and extinguish your fire!!