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Food Monster - Features

Chipotle Debuts Quinoa at NYC Test Kitchen

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Chipotle has added quinoa to its test kitchen in New York City, giving customers a new healthy grain option.

The company, which has worked to overcome backlash following a series of illnesses linked to its food in 2015, added the new item at its test location in New York’s West Village on Monday. It’s not yet clear whether the grain will make its way to other locations nationwide.

“The quinoa is made with red and gold quinoa tossed with a little citrus juice, cumin, and freshly chopped cilantro,” said Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold. “We are recommending that added to a salad or in place of rice in another entree.”

The company’s CEO, Steve Ells, previously hinted at the chain adding “salads with different kinds of grains” and “traditional things” including nachos and quesadillas.

Ells cautioned that adding menu items at Chipotle was different than other chains because of the nature of its customizable entrees.

“It’s not like you can put a whole new thing up on the menu board,” said Ells. “Ingredients become part of the whole offering.”

Meal Makeover Moms/Flickr

The company previously launched queso – after a rocky launch that received criticism from consumers, Chipotle changed its queso recipe. It then used the revised queso recipe to offer nachos at its test kitchen for $4.80. The nachos have yet to appear on Chipotle menus outside of the test kitchen.

Chipotle reported that its queso was responsible for increasing customers’ average checks at the chain by 2 percent, with 10 percent of customers trying the queso since Chipotle put it on the menu in September.

Make Delicious Quinoa Recipes at Home!

Even if you can’t make it to Chipotle’s test kitchen, you can still have a nutritious dish with quinoa. Here are some recipes from the Food Monster App to give you inspiration.

Veggie Protein Burritos

These Veggie Protein Burritos by Robin Runner combine quinoa and veggies like onions and carrots for a nutrition powerhouse. Add in your favorite plant-based protein and hot sauce to make it even better!

Quinoa Chili

Plant Protein Recipes That You’ll Love offers this Quinoa Chili recipe to warm you up and give you a bowl packed with protein. If you want to go spicier, just add in some more jalapeño.

Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Mexican Quinoa

These Grilled Vegetable Skewers with Mexican Quinoa from Julie Van den Kerchove make an awesome appetizer or snack for a party or barbecue. The quinoa has lime juice and cayenne pepper for a delightful kick.

Cuban Black Bean Mango Bowl

Make your own quinoa bowl with this Cuban Black Bean Mango Bowl recipe by Tara Binder. The mango salsa adds a sweet and refreshing twist to this protein-rich meal.

Looking for more quinoa inspiration like How To Cook Perfect Fluffy Quinoa Every Time? Download the Food Monster Appwhich is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

Lead image source: Shutterstock

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