Let’s talk about quinoa (KEEN-wah), shall we? It’s pretty neat.
- It’s gluten free. It’s closer related to spinach than it is to any grain.
- It is a complete protein: it has all 9 amino acids packed into each little seed.
- It’s high in magnesium (good for heart health. helpful to counteract high blood pressure or high cholesterol)
- Antioxidants! Quinoa is super high in them, so it will keep your red blood cells safe from free radicals that want to attack.
- Any benefit that can get from eating whole grains, you will get from eating quinoa, only it’s gluten free.
Convinced yet? Aside from it being good for you, it’s super easy to make. You cook it much like rice or couscous (1 part quinoa, 2 cups liquid), but it cooks up in about 15 minutes. Any dish that you want to eat with rice, you can substitute quinoa.
Here’s a quick and tasty weeknight dinner to get you started on your love affair with quinoa. This is an easy dish to make ahead, as you can serve it hot or cold. It can be the main dish, or you can use it as a side.
Quinoa Chili Salad
Adapted from fANNEtastic Food
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup broth (veggie or chicken)
- 1 cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 small green pepper, diced
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Step 1: Prepare your quinoa. Combine 1 cup quinoa in 1 cup water and 1 cup broth. Boil, then reduce to a simmer until all the liquid is absorbed (12-15 minutes).
Step 2: While that’s happening, chop your veggies and mix them all up with the seasonings.