Who doesn’t love binging on carbs? No one! Carbs are the ultimate comfort food. When that poor grade haunts us or we sleep through an exam, carbs are the first thing our bodies crave. Unfortunately, complex carbs can wreak havoc on our bodies if they are consumed on a regular basis. 

That’s where the quinoa swoops in. It’s high in protein and fiber and low in carbohydrates, making it a great substitute for most carb dishes. Here are eight creative ways to eat quinoa that satisfy your tastebuds and keep your belly happy. 

1. Quinoa Sushi

Sushi makes for a great snack, meal, and conversation starter. By simply substituting quinoa for white rice, you can get that dragon roll and rainbow roll and not worry about how much bleached and starchy grains you are consuming.

2. Quinoa Chipotle Bowl

rice, quinoa, vegetable, meat, couscous, pepper
Julie Goldstein

I have to give my mom credit for this one. She somehow figured out how to take the carbs out of mine and my brother’s favorite go-to meal: a rendition of a Chipotle bowl. She did not even tell us that she substituted quinoa for rice, and, it totally worked. Who knows, maybe Chipotle will start using quinoa in their bowls.

3. Quinoa Cookies

Quinoa and cookies? Say what?! Yes, you read that right. Now let’s be clear, these are not the most nutritional quinoa products, but at least you can add some nutrition to your favorite cookie. By adding cooked quinoa into your favorite cookie recipe, you will actually indulge in a protein-filled snack disguised as a cookie.  

4. Quinoa Burger

meat, beef, pork, sweet, sauce
Sally Zhang 

This one is for all of the veggie lovers out there! Cooked and seasoned quinoa mixed with beans and veggies is the perfect fatty hamburger substitute. Since quinoa is a complete protein, it packs in all of the eight amino acids our body needs.

By using quinoa for the burger patty rather than meat, you will still practically consume the amount of protein in a regular burger, just on a healthier and tastier scale. Even add some cheese for the ultimate cheese quinoa-burger

5. Quinoa Risotto

couscous, vegetable, parsley, quinoa, rice, meat, pepper
Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Since the tastiest part of the risotto is the creamy sauce, let's reduce the amount of calories by substituting the rice for quinoa. Now this dish is perfect for a date night accompanied by a glass of red wine (provided you're 21-years-old). Swapping out the rice for quinoa keeps this dish savory and the number on your scale sweet. 

6. Quinoa as Croutons

vegetable, salad, meat, asparagus, pepper
Caitlin Wolper

There are so many ways to mix up salads and make them as yummy as possible. No matter how many times I mix up my ingredients, I always crave a crouton crunch, but know that it will lower the nutrition of my salad.

By adding olive oil to quinoa, spicing it up, and roasting it for a few minutes, you will have that crouton taste and crunch in a much healthier form. 

7. Quinoa Porridge

sweet, dairy product, vegetable
Jill Langin

For many of us who might never try oatmeal or are sick of it, quinoa porridge is a healthy breakfast alternative. By adding water, almond milk, or any nuts, fruits or spices of choice to cooked quinoa, one will have a protein-filled, power breakfast that will make for a great start to the long college day. 

8. Chocolate Quinoa Protein Bars

chocolate, coffee, molasses, sweet, cinnamon, candy
Lily Lou

Ditch the processed protein bars and make our own bars! This tasty, protein-filled bar will be the perfect pre-workout snack that will provide you with enough protein to conquer your day. This is one of the more complicated quinoa recipes I've included, but Matt Frazier's is worth it.