Quinoa, The Super Food


What not is there to love about quinoa? Quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, (not Key-no-a) is a grain that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2%, compared to rice, which has 7.5%. Some varieties of quinoa are more than 20% protein. Not to mention , Quinoa it is gluten free food so is a great choice for those with a gluten intolerance or with celiac disease. 


Quinoa’s protein is of an unusually high quality. It is a complete protein, with an essential amino acid balance, a grain a complete protein, Yes! Quinoa’s protein is high in lysine, methionine and cystine. Besides being a complete protein, quinoa is also high in fiber, and other vitamins and minerals. Quinoa also contains 12% of the daily recommendation for iron. Cam you see why this grain is considered a superfood?


Aside all the powerful nutrition, quinoa is easy to digest, making it a really popular food with those with digestive issues. What I love about Quinoa is its versatility! It has a unique nutty flavor that goes so well in so many recipes. Whether a breakfast food or dinner entree, quinoa makes a great, easy to prepare grain! It also can be eaten hot or cold, bland or sweetened! 


Quinoa has a low glycemic index of 35, meaning it does not spike your blood sugar by much and can keep your blood sugar levels stable, helping keep you satiated and from experiencing extreme hunger and cravings. This is the perfect food for those experiencing blood sugar issues! Another powerful benefit of quinoa is that it is an alkaline food. We want to keep our systems in a state of alkalinity to combat several health issues that thrive in acidic environments. Alkalizing foods help keep your system in balance. Unlike oatmeal, quinoa is alkaline so this superfood is helpful in keeping our systems alkaline!


If you are wanting a change from your typical brown rice or oatmeal, give this amazing superfood a try! 


Check out some of my favorite Quinoa recipes.



Turkey Quinoa loaf


Ingredients:
- 1 lb (16 oz) 99% lean Ground Turkey
- 3 egg whites
- 3 tbsp Hot sauce, of your choice
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
-2 stocks celery, sliced thinly
-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-3 tbsp Olive Oil
-1 cup Quinoa
-2 cups water


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the Quinoa and Water in a saucepan. Bring to boil and cook for about ten minutes. Put the ground turkey and all other ingredients except the quinoa into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.

Place the Quinoa in the bowl and mix it in. Place mixture in appropriate size baking dish. Sprinkle some parsley flakes over the top.

It’s difficult to say exactly how long to bake your meatloaf since it depends on the dish you’re using, your oven, etc. I bake the meatloaf, covered, for 1½ hours and then check to see if it’s done. The key is to not over cook! Check after an hour, every so often to see when cooked.


Quinoa Black Bean Salad


Ingredients:
-1 cup quinoa
-1 1/2 cups cold water
-2 cups cooked black beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse well
-1/2 cup chopped celery
-1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
-1 garlic clove, minced, OR 1 tsp garlic powder
-1 red pepper, sliced thin
-1 large ripe tomato
-1 green pepper, sliced thin
-1 tsp cumin powder
-1 tsp coriander powder


Dressing:
-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
-1/4 cup olive oil
-Fresh ground pepper
-Pinch cayenne or chili powder
-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
-1/4 cup chopped scallions


Directions:
*The quinoa can be made ahead of time and refrigerated
Soak the quinoa 1/2 hour in cold water. Rinse very thoroughly in water several times. For each rinse, pour off most of the water and finish draining through a large fine mesh strainer
Place in a pot with 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring it to a boil, turn down to low, cover tightly, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit 5 minutes covered.
Fluff gently with a fork and set aside to cool. Sauté jalapeño and fresh garlic in 2 Tbsp oil, until garlic is browned, pepper and celery are softened. Add the green and red peppers and sauté 
Add the cumin and coriander, cook and stir 5 minutes. Blend dressing ingredients and gently combine sauteed veggies, tomatoes, black beans, quinoa and dressing in a large bowl
Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cilantro and scallions, and serve warm or chill and serve cold.


Cranberry nut Quinoa Salad


Ingredients:

-1 cup quinoa

-1 cup dried cranberries

-1 cup green beans

-1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

-1/4 cup green onions, sliced

-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

-1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

-4 cloves garlic, minced

-1/4 teaspoon pepper


Directions: 

Combine quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking until all water is absorbed.

In a medium bowl, combine cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, green beans, walnuts, and green onions until well mixed. In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic until well blended. Pour over the quinoa mixture. Toss until well blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving


Breakfast Cereal


Ingredients:
-1 cup Quinoa
-2 cups water
-1/2 c Apples; thinly sliced
-1/3 cup goji berries
-1/2 tsp Cinnamon
-2 scoops vanilla protein

-1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (optional)
-stevia, to taste (optional)


Directions:
Rinse quinoa and add to water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Add apples, goji berries and cinnamon and simmer until water is absorbed. Serve with unsweetened coconut milk or add protein powder. Optional: sweeten with Stevia

enjoy!


2 servings


Quinoa Melody


Ingredients:

-1 cup quinoa, drained 
-2 cups water
-1 tomato
-1 large red bell pepper, chopped
-1 large green bell pepper, chopped
-1 cucumber, skinned and chopped
-2 tbsp lime juice
-1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
-fresh parsley
-2 cloves garlic, crushed
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 large purple onion, chopped


Directions: 


remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes and stir. Put all remaining ingredients in a bowl and toss. Add herbs, lime juice, garlic and soy sauce and toss again.

Combine quinoa with water and salt in medium pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put all remaining ingredients in a  bowl and toss. Add herbs, lime juice, garlic and soy sauce and toss again. 

*Can be served room temperature or chilled and served cold.