Healthy Cooking with Quinoa
Quinoa is a highly nutritious seed that is originally from the Andean mountains of South America. It is often confused for a grain and can take the place of rice, millet or other grains on your daily menu, bringing you and your family a healthy, low fat source of protein.
Quinoa is almost always organically grown, is gluten free and packed with protien, all eight amino acids and is a good source of dietary fiber. A long time staple of the vegetarian diet, its now making it's way to more American tables than every before because of it's great taste and versatility.
Quick and nearly effortless to prepare, quinoa is easily added to your favorite recipes, from soup and chili to mixed vegetables and breakfast cereals.
Before cooking quinoa, it is necessary to rinse it thoroughly in cold water for optimal taste and health benefits. Measure your quinoa and rinse it in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Using two cups of water for every cup of quinoa, bring to a boil in a sauce pan or rice cooker. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 12-15 minutes. It should no longer look like a little seed. Instead, the quinoa will be tender and chewy and you will see white spiral like threads around each grain.
If you prefer to make large quantities, cooked quinoa can be stored in the refrigerator for the week ahead.
Once your quinoa is cooked, you can add to it or eat it plain. It's delicious under stir-fried vegetables, with thick stews or prepared as a pilaf with chopped walnuts, carrots and parsley.
Ways to add Quinoa to your Diet
- Serve quinoa for breakfast with toasted walnuts, grated apples, milk and a little mapple syrup.
- Add cooked quinoa to your scrambled eggs or an omlette.
- Add quinoa cold to a salad for a little extra healthy crunch.
- Use quinoa as a side dish. It's a quicker and healthier addition to your meal than rice.
- Add a little quinoa to your favorite soup or chili recipe to add protein and texture.
- Add sauteed garlic and onions to plain quinoa for a tasty side dish.
To get you started cooking with quinoa, here is a quick recipe for making quinoa pilaf:
To make this easy recipe with quinoa, you will need:
- 1Tablespoon vegetable oil (grapeseed oil works great too)
- 1/2 Cup chopped onion
- 2 Carrots, chopped
- 1 Cup Quinoa
- 2 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 2/3 Cup Chopped walnuts
- 1/4 Cup parsley, fresh, chopped
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