Cilantro Lime Quinoa & Food Breakups

This relationship isn’t working anymore. It was great at first but just suddenly, out of the blue, that was it. I didn’t realize it was you at first, but after spending time together, my stomach would hurt. I loved you, I defended you to friends and family, I did everything right. Although I want you in my life all the time, there’s just something about you that doesn’t work for me anymore. It pains me to say this but it will pain me more not to say this. Quinoa, it’s over. It’s not me, it’s you.

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It’s true. This sucks. I was never a fan of rice and when I came across quinoa, I finally got the point of non pasta, potato or bread type side dishes. I ate it so much and became so familiar with it that I ended up creating some recipes which included my favourite – Foolproof Lime Cumin Quinoa.

So imagine my joy when I came across red quinoa in the supermarket. I had all these grand recipe ideas, but decided to try it plain first. And then I spent that entire afternoon clutching my stomach and wondering if 29 was too young to be having a heart attack. I didn’t actually realize that it was the new quinoa that had me feeling that way, so I proceeded to eat it 2 more times after that before I realized what was happening. So I switched back to regular white quinoa. But by that time, my body took the figurative form of a toddler strongly set against something – crossed arms, stomping feet and vehement head shake, yelling “no! no more!!” Although it tasted great, the acid I’d feel afterwards was pretty brutal.

I don’t get it. I know that you need to wash quinoa before cooking to get rid of the bitter soapy saponin coating on the quinoa. Which I did. I cooked it properly too. Right now I know my siblings are laughing pretty hard at me – it’s a running joke that when they come over and I offer them food, they always ask whether there’s quinoa in it. I even had quinoa pasta! Sigh.

So here’s my Dear John recipe. My simple, healthy and awesome twist on the Cilantro Lime Rice you get at Chipotle.

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I made cilantro lime rice once before – with dried cilantro and the bottled lime juice *shakes head sadly at the culinary-ly ignorant Indi of 3 years ago* and shockingly enough, it didn’t taste like anything except rice that was in the fridge. I cannot stress this enough – use fresh ingredients!!

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 cup dried Quinoa

3 tbsp. freshly squeezed Lime Juice

4 stalks fresh Cilantro

¼ tsp Black Pepper

1/8 – ¼ tsp salt (to taste)


Rinse Quinoa thoroughly and cook according to package directions. Usually the ratio is 1 part Quinoa to 2 parts Water. Cook on medium heat until water is absorbed and the little white string things in each grain pops out from the grains. Let cool slightly.

Finely chop cilantro. Toss Quinoa with lime juice, cilantro, pepper and salt.

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So enjoy, guys. Take this gift that I’ve given you and thoroughly enjoy it because you’ll never know when your favourite food will become your enemy. Surprisingly enough, I’ve been through a food breakup before with cantaloupe. My favourite fruit ever started making my lips itchy and swollen when I ate it. So now I occasionally indulge in a few pieces but eat like a crazy person and open my mouth pretty wide so that nothing touches my lips. Pretty genius, right? Cheese can give me heartburn on occasion as well but I continue to dance around my food issues like a boxer in a ring, jabbing my intolerances at random times so it won’t have time to react before I digest. Damn, I’m great at metaphors.

Have a wonderful weekend and if you’ve ever experienced anything similar, I’d love to hear about it!

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    • Thanks for the suggestion. Funny enough I made farro for the first time the other day but I was so excited to let others try it that I didn’t get to try it for myself lol. Will have to fix that!

  1. I’m sorry that you had to break up with quinoa… My daughter has the same reaction with cantaloupe that you do!! And she just had to break up with shellfish, because her lips swelled with that too. It was a difficult break up, and she still feels bad! Awesome post…. I will try this. It sounds so delish!! ❤️

    • Thanks Prudy :). Sorry to hear about your daughter and the food breakups… I really do feel her pain! I’m thankful I’m not allergic to shellfish or nuts because I love them as well. How are you nowadays?

  2. There are so many crummy food allergies! I am so spoiled that the choices I make are driven by desire and not restrictions. I hope you find some lovely alternatives! The dish you shared with us is delicious. Thank you so much!

  3. Sorry dear 😦 I am sure you will get over it. Don’t take it to heart. Some relationships are never meant to be . Sigh! But can you consider giving it another chance. i will mediate for you. Maybe I can convince it to drop the Lemon, it is so attached to. Maybe it is not the Quinoa. Yes, It must be the lemon which is causing you the acidity. Give it another thought dear 🙂

  4. How sad, Indu! I have food allergies too, so I totally understand! Just know this; we can grow out of our allergies!! So check-in with your ex in a few years and see if you can rekindle your relationship! You just never know! 😉

  5. Devastated about your body’s reaction to this but it looks absolutely yummy. Will definitely try it soon with some lean grilled meat, I think. Thanks for sharing, happy ff!

  6. I’m sorry to hear of your break up, I personally don’t eat quinoa but it always sucks when you realise you can no longer have something (I have that with margaritas, but I’m refusing to give them up haha)
    I do love the addition of lime in this though,big fan of adding lime to things!

  7. Awwww I broke up with quinoa because I overate it! But I think it’s time to give it a go again. Love your quirky writing and story telling! I enjoyed reading this and even chuckled a bit! Oh and this looks and sounds incredible!!! I cannot wait to make my return to quinoa and try this out!! Thanks for linking up with us at #Foodie Fridays! You have been pinned!

  8. Easy yummy recipe. Sorry to hear about your food allergies! Until now I had never heard of anyone being allergic to quinoa!!! I guess it is possible. Good to know.

  9. […] My less than stellar state has prevented me from making my patented OCD-type menu for the week. Which is bad for a neurotic gal like me, plus I get super mad when I’m hungry. Ask Rabin if you don’t believe me. I’ve been craving comforting meals and the vegan thing has been particularly hard over here for us, even on a regular day. There’s been a limited availability of tofu, no avocados, and no vegan substitutes for stuff like butter and cheese. I don’t want to repeat meals nor do I want to eat curry nonstop, and I want to eat healthy stuff…not just fill my stomach with pasta. Plus I’ve broken up with quinoa. […]

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