What is Quinoa and Why Should We Eat it?
While quinoa is usually considered to be a whole grain, it is actually a seed, but can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley. Try a quinoa pilaf salad recipe, or serve a vegetable stir-fry over cooked quinoa instead of rice.
Quinoa is one of my favorite whole grain for three reasons:
*First, it takes less time to cook than other whole grains – just 10 to 15 minutes.
*Second, quinoa tastes great on its own, unlike other grains such as millet or teff. Add a bit of olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice and – yum!
*Finally, of all the whole grains, quinoa has the highest protein content, so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is a gluten-free and cholesterol-free whole grain, is kosher for Passover, and is almost always organic.
Culinary ethnologists will be interested to know that quinoa was a staple food for thousands of years in the Andes region of South America as one of just a few crops the ancient Incas cultivated at such high altitude.
Cooking Quinoa: Prepare quinoa as you would prepare rice. Cover it with water or vegetable broth and boil until soft, about 15 minutes. Or, place 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water in your rice cooker.
Nutritional Content of Quinoa: According to CalorieCount, 1/3 cup of cooked quinoa has 160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.
Shopping for Quinoa: Shop for quinoa in the bulk bins or the baking aisle of natural foods stores, or find it online.
Quinoa Recipe for You to Try:
Roasted Vegetable Quinoa
Adapted from: Onceamonthmom.com
2 cups zucchini, sliced
2 cups bell peppers, diced
2 cups portabella mushrooms, diced
2 cups asparagus, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon House seasoning (4 parts kosher salt, 1 part black pepper and 1 part garlic powder)
3 cups Quinoa
1 tablespoons Italian seasoning
Prep Day: Coat diced veggies in olive oil, vinegar and spices. Roast on baking sheet at 400 for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Meanwhile, cook Quinoa. Combine vegetables with quinoa.
To Freezing: Divide among gallon freezer bags and freeze when cooled.
Serve Day: Reheat on stovetop over medium-low until heated through (about 25 minutes) or in crockpot on low for 6 hours. When done season with House seasoning.