Thursday, April 12, 2012

Give Quinoa A Try

Quinoa: pronounced keen-wah

It's known as the "Gold of the Incas," it has all 9 essential amino acids (protein building blocks that we can't make in our bodies, so we need to get them from food), and one cup contains all the magnesium we need for a day.

Since there is such a high protein value, quinoa makes a perfect meatless monday meal.  Just toss in some stir-fried veggies and you've got yourself a easy nutritious dinner.

Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps supports bone health and it's involved in many enzyme reactions in our body.  It has also be found to relax the blood vessels associated with migraines.

Quinoa is a good source of fiber and iron too.  It's also gluten-free for all of you with an allergy.

Quinoa is very easy cook!  If you buy it in bulk/plain, simply add 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water in a saucepan, or you could use low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth.  I usually add 1 cup water and 1 cup chicken broth for some extra flavor.  Bring everything to a boil and let it simmer for around 15 minutes.  Should be fluffy and slightly translucent when ready to eat.

I like to keep things interesting, so I've been adding vegetables and extra seasonings to the plain dried quinoa mix.  Things I've tried (not all at once): diced red pepper, dried basil, oregano, rosemary, fresh black pepper, diced carrots, diced celery, and diced fresh garlic.

Once everything is cooked, I've also tried adding in sauteed mushrooms, snow peas, grated parmesan cheese and various meats.

You can find 16 ounces of plain organic quinoa at Trader Joe's for around 3 or 4 dollars.   I'm sure
Whole Foods sells it in bulk, though I've never looked for it there.  I did however recently buy a package of rosemary quinoa mix ($3.50) from Whole Foods by Near East.  I have always loved Near East products, especially their taboule, so I thought I'd give this a try.

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