We have recently discovered quinoa and have been incorporating it into our weekly menu ever since. It has quickly become one of our favorite dishes. Do not make the same mistake we did and ask the Albertson’s worker what aisle the quin-oa is in. You may get blank, confused stares. It is pronounced keen-wah. Embarrassing mistake but we’re happy to know the right pronunciation now!
What is so great about quinoa? The real question is, what’s not great about quinoa? This super food contains more protein than any other grain. The protein in this grain is a complete protein; meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. According to the National Academy of Science, quinoa is one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom. It is gluten free and is rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, phosphorous, and has low levels of carbohydrates. As if it couldn’t get any better, quinoa is high in dietary fiber, which is crucial in a healthy diet.
Although it is widely considered a whole grain today, quinoa is technically a seed of the goosefoot plant, which is a leafy plant, associated with spinach, beets, and tumbleweeds. When cooked, it has a light, fluffy texture and has a mild nutty flavor. It is used as a common alternative to rice or couscous in recipes. Another reason why this super food has grown in popularity in recent years is because of its versatility.
We are totally serious when we say we eat quinoa every single week. It is so quick, easy, and affordable to cook. Here are two recipes that we are absolutely in love with. Hope you enjoy!
- 1 ½ Cup dry quinoa (12 oz package) Rinse unless you purchased the pre-washed
- 2 bunches of parsley (curly parsley) Cut stems off and put in food processor to finely chop (can chop by hand if food processor is not accessible)
- 2 bunches of green onions (chopped)
- 1 cup of chick peas (garbanzo beans) (drained)
- 1 avocado
- 2-3 Cucumbers sliced and cut in half
- Cherry tomatoes (I used one container)
- Mint (fresh or dried crushed mint)
- Cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
- Garlic powder
Cook quinoa: The proportion of dry quinoa to cooked quinoa is about 1:3, so 1 cup of dried quinoa will cook about 3 cups.
Rinse the quinoa well under cold water and drain. Rinse using a fine mesh strainer unless you purchase the pre-rinsed quinoa.
Put the rinsed quinoa into a saucepan and add water. The quinoa to water ratio is 1:2. In other words, use 2 cups of water for every one cup of quinoa. You can adjust the amount of water based on the texture you want your quinoa. Obviously the less water, the more rice-like, crunchier texture, and the more the water the softer the quinoa.
Cover and bring to a boil. Immediately after it starts to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. You know the quinoa is done cooking when all the water is soaked up. Make sure there is no excess water at the bottom of the pan. Fluff quinoa with fork.
In a rice cooker- Put rinsed quinoa into rice cooker and add necessary amount of water (remember quinoa to water ratio is 1:2). Turn on rice cooker and let cook for about 15 minutes. Very simple!
While the quinoa is cooking, chop ingredients listed above. Once the quinoa is cooked and vegetables are chopped, combine in bowl and mix well. Add seasonings to taste. Chill in refrigerator for a couple hours to allow quinoa to soak up the seasonings.
Side note: This recipe can be adjusted based on your preference. You can add any vegetables you’d like and the outcome will still be delicious. We have added soybeans, broccoli, and mushrooms. Put a Mexican spin on it and combine corn, black beans, cilantro, avocado, and salsa with the quinoa. See what we mean…a very versatile dish!
2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
1 cup of rinsed quinoa
3-5 tablespoons of stevia(you can substitute light brown sugar is desired)
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (may substitute the walnuts for pecans and almonds)
1 cup of fresh blueberries (frozen work as well. Add more if desired)
Put the rinsed quinoa into a saucepan and add the almond milk. You may add more almond milk if a softer, more oatmeal like texture is desired. Bring to a boil. Immediately after, reduce heat to low and let quinoa simmer for about 15 minutes. Only allow about three-quarters of the milk to be absorbed. Add the stevia and cinnamon and continue to cook until majority of the almond milk has been absorbed. Stir in blueberries and chopped walnuts and let cook for an additional 30-60 seconds. Add additional toppings if you’d like. Great meal to start your day!