Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hawaiian Haystacks with Quinoa

I didn't know what Hawaiian Haystacks were a few years ago. When I first heard about it I was a little skeptical because I thought the ingredients together sounded weird. My family loves this meal. This meal is also good for larger gatherings. I made this for a Church luncheon and I also served this for a Mother's Day meal for a gathering of quite a few people. The quinoa is a new addition suggested by a friend and it is good - but I do not replace the rice, I portion out half rice and half quinoa to what used to be straight white rice. I am all for healthier options but not willing to totally get rid of my old not so healthy habits. I am new to quinoa, and in case you are too, here is some info:

 - Quinoa is simple to cook, very much like rice.
 - substitute quinoa for couscous or rice in almost any meal. 
 - With the most complete proteins of any grain, and a great source of vitamins and minerals - iron, magnesium, Vit E, potassium, amino acids, and fiber - quinoa is an ideal food for vegetarian or vegan diets - or any kind of diet!

This information is from the Savvy Vegetarian website, and you can go there to find more info, or you can Google quinoa. I cooked the quinoa as follows: 1 1/2 cups salted water. Bring to a boil. Add 1 cup quinoa. Cook on low, with lid on, for 15 minutes. 

Here is white rice on the left, and quinoa on the right. I cooked both to go with my most recent Hawaain Haystacks and I will prepare them like this from now on.
So now on to what is in my spin of a Hawaiian Haystack...

The ingredients I use are 
1. Rice (and now rice and quinoa *this is an old pic so the quinoa is missing )
2. Cooked chicken, chopped
3. tomatoes, chopped
4. celery, chopped
5. green onion, chopped
6. pineapple chunks
7. sunflower seeds
8. grated cheddar cheese
9. chicken gravy

So basically, you start with rice/quinoa as your base (one serving spoon size is plenty - you can always go back for more), then add chicken, tomatoes, celery, green onions, etc., etc.,  topping it off with cheese and dousing it with gravy. I was given weird looks at my Mother's Day luncheon last year because people had their doubts about tomatoes and gravy, but it is surprisingly yummy. My daughter leaves out the celery and pineapple, and that is the cool thing about this meal - you can pick and choose what you want! I use gravy from one of those packages. My friend likes to buy Kentucky Fried Chicken Gravy - yum! The amount of each ingredient depends on how many are eating - I put a tablespoon or two of each topping on, but I use a little more of the chicken than a couple tablespoons (I like my meat!)

So go ahead and give it a try and
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  1. Interesting! I've not heard of this before!! Your picture looks yummy!!

  2. That looks totally yummy. We love Quinoa. It's a great breakfast cereal, I use Quinoa pasta for a healthier option, and am finding all kinds of uses for it since it is a complete protein!! Thanks for the new recipe!!

  3. that looks really good! i LOVE Hawaiian haystacks!! thanks for linking up :)

  4. This looks amazing. My girls love quinoa so I have bookmarked this to try out (and I love anything with pineapple chunks).

  5. I love quinoa!! This looks great!! Thanks for linking up to Foodie Friday! If you haven’t already, make sure to pop back over to enter my GIVEAWAY!!! Entries must be by Sunday evening and a winner will be picked Monday!!

  6. the picture and we love Hawaiian haystacks too, I heard about them in college! Hey, I use cream of chicken soup for my gravy and we love it, super easy too!