Side Dishes

Rooibos Quinoa with Dried Blueberries and Coconut

As most all of you know, I’m writing some recipes for Tazo Tea. I know I waxed so eloquently last night about not being affiliated with any more company sponsorship, but there wasn’t much I could do about this since I’m mid-contract. But, you should know that Tazo isn’t paying me for this….I just said yes originally because I love tea and writing recipes! I have two more recipes to go before the program is over and after that, you won’t see any more company endorsement on this blog in that manner.


Thanks for putting up with all of my weirdness.

So without further adoo, today I whipped up a batch of Rooibos Quinoa with Dried Blueberries and Coconut

If you’re anything like me, you love quinoa. It’s such a fun “ancient grain” and there’s so many neat ways to use it. I thought up this recipe as a fun side dish for something like pork or chicken, or even as a main dish in itself. Cooking the quinoa in the tea gives the grain a light vanilla flavor, which perfectly complements the coconut. Dried blueberries are just in there for a sweet chew!
Here’s what you need for success:
First things first: make your tea! Boil enough water for two cups of tea. Drink one—
And reserve 3/4 cup of hot water for the quinoa.
You can steep the quinoa tea right in the measuring cup or, like I did, pour it into a small sauce pot on the stove. Add one tea bag to the water along with one tablespoon of dried blueberries (you could use dried cranberries if you want…I just love blueberries!)
Now sip your cup of tea and wait about five minutes so you get a nice rich vanilla flavor. Then, remove the teabag and add a quarter cup of quinoa. I used red quinoa just ’cause!
Turn the heat on high, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to medium low and simmer for about twelve minutes or until all the tea has been absorbed into the grain. Reason number 70934 why I love quinoa—-it cooks up a whole heck of a lot quicker than rice! Add a tiny pinch of sea salt here to bring out all of the yummy flavors in this dish.
Fluff the quinoa with a fork once all the liquid is absorbed, put on a serving plate and top with one tablespoon of unsweetened coconut
Voila! Coconut, vanilla and blueberries….oh my! You could probably even get away with eating this for breakfast. Maybe add a few toasted hazelnuts as well? The sky’s your limit!
Rooibos Quinoa with Coconut and Dried Blueberries

Serves 1 (easily doubled…or tripled!)

1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 Vanilla Rooibos teabags
about two cups water
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp dried blueberries
Bring the water to a boil on the stove. When ready, pour yourself a cup of tea using one of the teabags. Let out a sigh. Pour 3/4 cup leftover hot water into a small sauce pot and add the other teabag, along with the dried blueberries. Let steep for about five minutes. Remove teabag and add quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about twelve minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the tea. Fluff with a fork and serve with the coconut sprinkled on top.

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  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    August 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    It’s dessert quinoa! What a delicious flavor combination. Love it. I don’t like tea (think it tastes like dirty water) but I am not against cooking with it!

  • Stacey
    August 13, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    What a fantastic idea and super creative. I love tea so I must try this.

  • Marie
    August 13, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    This sounds really good! I’m curious to try it with Chai tea instead. Definitely sounds like a yummy breakfast.

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    August 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Looks delicious! I love the idea that this is a dessert 🙂

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    August 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I absolutely adore coconut and quinoa, so the combo of them together is amazing. My acupuncturist is pushing quinoa in my diet, so I may give this a try. Have a great weekend Jenna!

  • Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    August 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Red quinoa is so fun. And I love the dried blueberries – well, actually, I’ve never tried them but I THINK I would love them! 🙂

  • sp
    August 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Well, I hope they are giving you something to write your recipes. If you are under a contract, certainly you didnt make a unilateral promise in return for nothing. Not exactly legally enforceable. But I digress, the recipe looks awesome!

    • jenna
      August 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm

      it’s actually a blogger cooking competition! The winner gets a gift card to william sonoma. That’s incentive enough! 😉

  • Izzy
    August 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I use Vanilla Rooibos too cook my morning oats! (When I’m not using Tazo Chai tea…yummo ;D) Never thought to cook quinoa in it but HMMM……


  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    August 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    That sounds really lovely!! I would never have thought to use tea!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    August 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    This sounds great! I am so excited for an increase of recipes on this!! Yours are always good!!

  • Erin
    August 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Neat! I’m such a tea-a-holic. There’s no such thing as too much. 😉

  • MMiller
    August 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Wow…you never cease to amaze me Jenna! This is definitely a must try! I need to pick up more rooibos tea! I used my last one last week! Just need to make sure I triple rinse my quinoa! Last time I used it, it had a funny taste!

    • Kim
      August 13, 2010 at 7:10 pm

      The funny taste was most likely the saponins on the seed coat, sometimes it is washed or polished off, but not always. Just rinse your quinoa until the water runs clear and you’ll be god to go.

      I like to rinse mine in a bowl, pour water over the quinoa to where you have about an inch of water on top and swish it around, this helps to remove any debris like small stones. (I buy mine from the bulk bins and sometimes find small stones in it)

    • Christie {Honoring Health}
      August 14, 2010 at 2:39 am

      I have also found that some people are just more sensitive to the saponins in the quinoa and it is helpful to soak the quinoa before cooking. I soak it for at least 15 minutes in warm water or up to a couple of hours in cool water before rinsing well and cooking. Toasting it in hot oil after soaking also brings out the nutty flavor.

      This was a major trial and error process for me, I thought I hated it until I figured out how to prepare it the right way!

  • Jackie
    August 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    This looks and sounds delightful! So many people tell me they eat quinoa for breakfast, to me that just sounds so odd because I am used to in savory dishes. But, I could see eating this for breakfast! I can’t wait to try this!

  • Nicole - yuppie yogini
    August 13, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I’ve only recently begun following your blog (I’m behind in the game) and am curious why you no longer want to endorse products. If you’ve addressed this question feel free to direct me to a link. Thanks 🙂

  • Nicole - yuppie yogini
    August 13, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Ps: love your blog endorsements or not!

  • Krystina
    August 13, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I loooove that tea. It has a great slightly sweet vanilla flavor.

  • zoe
    August 13, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    how inventive!!!! luckily i work for starbucks and just happen to sell tazo tea. aaand i just happen to have a container sitting in my cupboard…along with some quinoa. thanks for the recipe :)!

  • Kim
    August 13, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I must try this tea it sounds so nice.

    I am glad you are still participating in the Tazo contest, I had wondered if you were because you aren’t doing endorsements anymore. LOVED your Lavender Chai Panna Cotta!

    Have fun!

  • Crunchy Granola Gal
    August 13, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    What an inventive recipe! I’ve never cooked with tea bags – a bit behind the times, maybe?

  • Camille
    August 13, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    I love roiboos tea, what a good idea…I guess it could work with other grains as well or with a nice chai tea….
    thanks for the idea..I truly love your blog…and it makes me want to read the “eat, love and pray” book…lol..your blog inspire me the book and not the opposite!! 😉

  • Sarah for Real
    August 13, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    That’s beautiful! I love the color.

  • Kaytee
    August 13, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    This sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to make some…of course I am out of dried blueberries so I’ll just have to use dried black currants (oh darn! =P ). Thanks for the recipe!

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth)
    August 13, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    This whole cooking with tea thing is really intriguing. The possibilities are endless. I love that this could be used as a side to a savory dinner or as a sweet breakfast. Perhaps with some maple syrup on top. Yum!

  • Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman
    August 13, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    I am truly amazed at how you come up with recipes. You have such a talent 🙂

  • Camille
    August 13, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    That is some gorgeous quinoa!

  • Sarah (OC2Seattle)
    August 13, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Tea infused recipes are so flavorful. I found an amazing recipe once for chicken made with gunpowder green tea – unbelievable.

  • Ace
    August 14, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Jenna! I could NOT stop thinking about, so I gave up trying to get uni work done and made this using chai tea bag and half vanilla soymilk half water in the saucepan. SO GOOD with a spoonful of vanilla yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and dash of cinnamon on top. Perfect afternoon snack. Sadly, now I have no excuse for lacking in concentration!

  • Lynn @ The Next Chaoter
    August 14, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Hi Jenna – Been reading your blog for a long time now and wanted to delurk. 🙂 I really like your style and am looking forward to the new focuses you have for the blog. Seeing the same product reviews/sponsored posts on multiple blogs gets boring. (Totally understand why companies use bloggers as part of their marketing though!) Also, am looking forward to your book!

  • Lynn @ The Next Chaoter
    August 14, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Hi Jenna – Been reading your blog for a long time now and wanted to delurk. 🙂 I really like your style and am looking forward to the new focuses you have for the blog. Seeing the same product reviews/sponsored posts on multiple blogs gets boring. (Totally understand why companies use bloggers as part of their marketing though!) Also, am looking forward to your book!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    August 14, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Mmm…this looks unique, beautiful, and delicious. Love it. And drinking tea while cooking is definitely a *must* in my book. 😀

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    August 14, 2010 at 5:46 am

    This is such a neat recipe! I love the combination of vanilla and coconut ever since I smelled a perfume with that scent at Sephora. 😛

  • eatmovelove
    August 14, 2010 at 5:52 am

    I’ve never thought of cooking with tea. I have no cooking savvy. But I would try this….maybe if someone else cooked it 😉

  • andrenna
    August 14, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    i like the idea of steeping quinoa in tea, and i especially love something chewy in my grains. nice recipe! i may give it a try for breakfast. 🙂

  • Ramona
    August 14, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    This dish looks delicious! I never thought of infusing food with tea. I like the idea of making oatmeal with tea. I might try to make steel cut oats with tea soon.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    August 14, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    first of all, love the amazing color in this dish 🙂 your creativity with this one is great! i don’t know if i’ve ever tried a sweet version of quinoa, but i think this sounds like the best recipe to do that with!

  • Jess @ NZ Girl Runs
    August 14, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    I have just been gifted a bag of quinoa. Now I know what I’m going to make with it!

  • jenna
    August 16, 2010 at 6:28 am

    yummy blueberries and quinoa? my two favorites {ha ha ha i say that all the time, i have a billion favorites apparently}

    this looks wonderful and I would eat it for breakfast.

  • Brooke
    August 16, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Hi Jenna,
    I have tried baking with tazo tea before and it worked out great! I made one batch of chocolate earl gray tea cupcakes and one batch of orange tea cupcakes! I just substituted the tea for the milk in the recipe.Try it out sometime! I look forward to trying your quinoa recipe.

  • Calantha
    August 16, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Interestingly, look what I came across today:

    Either someone was inspired by you, or had the almost the exact same idea at the same time!

  • Dee
    August 16, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    This looks yummy! But I may be biased as I love anything to do with tea! 🙂

  • Jae
    August 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Oh dear, that looks delectable 🙂

  • Laura
    August 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Love this.

  • Mom
    August 20, 2010 at 8:21 pm


  • Edith
    August 21, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I need to try this!! My roommate is from South Africa and loves rooibos tea, so there’s always plenty around 🙂

  • TeaBeyond
    October 1, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    this is a very interesting recipe. Got it from another site….definitely will give a try!

  • Sarbacher
    March 14, 2020 at 7:06 pm

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