The skinny on Quinoa
Quinoa has been all the rage lately and for good reason. It is jam packed with protein and essential vitamin and minerals. It is usually put into the grain family but it is actually a seed. It is easy to prepare and very versatile in its uses.
Below are a few benefits from this seed.
- Protein packed- It has all nine essential amino acids with more protein than rice or two chicken breasts (per cup).
- Full of fiber- This will make you feel full longer and therefore aide in weight loss.
- Gluten free- Great alternative for some wheat or grain products
- Source of Riboflavin- this will help with migraine prevention.
- Great source of iron- This keeps our red blood cells healthy and aides in brain function.
- High magnesium content- this helps with cardiovascular health
Okay, so now that we have covered just a few of the many benefits of quinoa let’s talk about how we can incorporate it into our diet.
Salads- Quinoa is fantastic for salads and can be the main ingredient, substituting beans or chicken.
Substitute for rice or couscous
Baked goods- can be combined with other gluten free flours as a replacement as wheat flour.
This is a recipe from Vegetarian times for a refreshing quinoa salad just in time for summertime!
30 minutes or fewer
- 1 ½ cups quinoa
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and finely diced (2½ cups)
- 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced (¾ cup)
- ½ small red onion, finely chopped (½ cup)
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 Tbs. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1. Bring 2 quarts salted water to a boil. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 12 to 14 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and small “tails” bloom from grains.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread pine nuts on baking sheet, and toast 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool, then transfer to large serving bowl.
3. Drain quinoa, and rinse under cold running water. Drain again. Add quinoa to pine nuts, and stir in cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and parsley. Fold in oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
I also have a great workout for you guys to compliment your healthy diet!