Salted Quinoa Chocolate Bark with Pistachios

SaltedQuinoaChocolateBark1Have you guys seen the new Amazon Santa app for iPad?  Yeah, thanks to hubby’s brilliant find of this, I now need approximately $157,645 to complete my Christmas shopping.  And that’s just for the boys.

I really shouldn’t fuss too much about it.  I can remember spending countless hours with the Sears catalog circling everything I wanted for Christmas.  Even though I knew I wasn’t going to get it all, that didn’t stop me from looking through the catalog every chance I got finding all the “stuff” I wanted.

Their birthdays are sandwiched around Christmas (a week before and February) so the good news is that I won’t have to spend a bunch of time trying to figure out what they want.

You know what I want these days?  Chocolate!

So though I like to keep things fresh and new around here, today we are taking a look at a new twist on an old favorite – Quinoa Chocolate Bark.

This year I’m making it with pistachos, a hint of heat and a little extra salt.   If you are looking for a dessert that is quick and easy, it doesn’t get better than this.

I absolutely LOVE the texture of popped quinoa and if you haven’t tried it you really must! In this chocolate bark it kind of reminds me of a really small rice crispy. You know, without the arsenic.

I’m not going to lie – an oil based popcorn popper is the easiest way to pop quinoa, simply because it does the stirring for you. If you don’t have one, never fear. You can either pop it on the stove top or skip popping all together and use toasted quinoa. Toasted quinoa won’t have quite the same lightness but it is still yummy.

Salted Quinoa Chocolate Bark with Pistachios

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 152

Fat per serving: 9.8g

Salted Quinoa Chocolate Bark with Pistachios

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces good quality chocolate, melted (I used Green & Black's Dark Chocolate)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • ¼ cup popped or toasted quinoa
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios, chopped
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Line an 8 inch pan with parchment paper. Mix melted chocolate with cayenne pepper and stir well. Pour chocolate in to prepared pan and smooth with a dry spatula. Top with popped or toasted quinoa, pistachios and sea salt.
  2. Chill for 30 minutes, or until set. Remove from pan and break into pieces.
  3. To pop quinoa: Heat coconut oil in a popcorn popper or heavy duty saucepan. Add quinoa and pop for about three to five minutes, until the seeds become golden brown. (If you are using a saucepan you will want to cover it and shake frequently to prevent burning.) Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 152, Fat 9.8g, Carbohydrates 12.8g, Protein 4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 139mg, Fiber 3g, Sugars 6g

Here is a great tutorial for toasting quinoa: http://www.food.com/recipe/how-to-properly-clean-and-toast-quinoa-421986

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This post was featured in Wellness Weekend & Healthy Vegan Friday’s, Keep it Real Thursday

  • Jill Lucas

    Can you pop quinoa in a hot air popcorn maker?

    • Wendy Polisi

      I haven't tried it but I think the seeds may be too small for most poppers.

  • Mom

    We are having this for Christmas, aren't we??? Love, Mom

    • Wendy Polisi

      Yep! The quinoa is already popped and in a jar! Vincent was so upset yesterday when he was hunting in the fridge for these a realize that we had eaten them all!

  • Michelle O.

    So…. the quinoa will actually make a "popping" sound in the popcorn machine?? And do you count the five minutes from the time you pour the quinoa in the popper or once it starts popping? Can I use regular canola oil if I don't have coconut oil? This is so intriguing to me – lol! :)

    • Wendy Polisi

      Yes! It will not increase in size the way that popcorn does but it does pop. It takes about 5 minutes from when you put the quinoa in the popper (but I turn my popper on first and melt the coconut oil so it is warm). I'm sure that different poppers will vary so you will need to watch and when the seeds start turning golden brown turn it off. I'm hoping to do a video on this soon and also get a macro lens so that I can take photos of what popped and toasted quinoa should look like.

      Any oil will work – as long as it is safe for high heat. (Which canola oil obviously is.)

      • Michelle O.

        Thank you so much for answering my questions! I have all the other ingredients ready and I'm going to give this recipe a try later today. I've been a vegan for over a year but I only started eating quinoa about 4 months ago – can you believe it took me that long to learn about it? This is my go-to quinoa site – thank you for all the work you do on this blog :)

  • Lise

    do you have to rince the quinoa before you pop or roast it?

    • Wendy Polisi

      Yes!  You should rinse it unless you have bought pre-rinsed quinoa.

      Sent from my iPad

      • Marcia

        So then leave it to dry or can you start wet? And does the oil heat first?

  • Dodie

    Can't wait to make this. Also going to try to "pop" the quinoa in my air popper, see if it'll work, lol. :o)

    • Wendy Polisi

      Let me know how it goes – I get the question about if it will work all the time and I would love to know!

      Sent from my iPad

      • Dodie

        Hi Wendy,

        Just to let you know – I don't recommend popping quinoa in the hot air popper – it's way too light and just blows right out, LOL!! Guess it's toasted quinoa for me. :)
        Hey, can you tell me the difference between red quinoa & white? Bought some red to try, but just don't like it as much as the white, at least for cereal. Better in salads and the like because it seems more "meatier" – does that make sense? Any way just curious. Thanks. Keep the recipes coming! :) Have a very Merry Christmas!!

  • Kay

    How do you melt your chocolate?

    • Wendy Polisi

      Kay – We don't use the microwave in our house so I bowl water and then place a metal bowl on top of it to melt. You do have to be careful not to get water spots in the chocolate because it can ruin it pretty quickly!

      • Ammie

        Did you use their baking chocolate or just a few of their chocolate bars?

  • Betty

    I tried popping in a saucepan but didn't work quite right. How high of a heat should I be using and roughly how long?
    Thanks,
    Betty

    • Betty

      what type of popcorn popper do you have? I found a WestBend StirCrazy on sale today for $18 and thought I'd have a better chance than on my stop top. I must be quinoa challenged since it just burned. Any HELP would be appreciated, this can't be that difficult of a task. .

  • Bonny

    Made these yesterday . . . . oh my they are so good. All gone. so very tasty!!!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Yeah!  So glad you liked them.

      Sent from my iPad

  • Crista

    holy cow, this looks amazing!!
    My recent post a throwback post: what Christmas was in 2011

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks so much Crista!

  • Wendy Polisi

    Any oil would work. You can also dry pop it.

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  • Wendy Polisi

    My pleasure Michelle! And, no, I can't believe it but better late than never! Thanks for reading!

  • Wendy Polisi

    I think it may have been their baking chocolate – it was in a wrapper with silver on the ends.  It was very dark and next time I think I will use 50% dark and 50% something to provide a little more sweetness.

  • Wendy Polisi

    I have the same one. Mine is really old and gets used about 5 times a week, so its possible it is just not as hot as a new one. Try watching it really closely and turning it off and tipping it as soon as the seeds start to turn. If you just unplug it the seeds will continue to cook in the popper and they will burn.

  • Betty

    Thanks, I will try that, however, it's less than a minute before they start to burn. I think I'll stick with a pan until the popper has been used for a while and the element starts to fade. If I was just going to toast them in the oven, what is the right temp and time?
    thx
    Betty

  • Wendy Polisi

    Sorry you are having such a hard time Betty! I'm going to put making a video on this at the top of my video to do list. You can toast it at 375 for about 20 minutes.

  • Betty

    Looking forward to the video. Thx Betty

  • Wendy Polisi

    Thanks so much for letting me know Dodie! That is kind of what I guessed. Red quinoa is much firmer and I agree, I don't like it quite as much in many types of dishes. It is a little higher in fiber and does take a few minutes longer to cook just right. I like it in salads and in dishes where I really want the texture to hold. (Like when mixed with pasta.)

    Hope you have a Merry Christmas too! :)

  • Wendy Polisi

    I let mine dry a bit so I don't have to worry about the water causing oil to spatter. I do melt the coconut oil first.