QUINOA! What is it? How do I eat it?

Quinoa is a nutritious, whole grain that can be used as a delicious side dish, pilaf or stuffing.  It blends perfectly well with salads, soups and stews.

It's Gluten Free, has a low glycemic index and provides all of the eight essential amino acids, creating a complete protein.  (Vegans best friend)

Quinoa is an ancient traditional grain grown at 12,000 feet above sea level.  It's classified by the National Academy of Sciences as one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom. 

Basic cooking instructions:

Rinse it very well until no bubbles form and water runs clear. 
Combine half cup Quinoa with 1 cup water or broth in a pot or rice cooker (I use rice cooker). Turn heat on low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes and fluff with fork and serve. 
Quinoa is cooked when each grain looks translucent and white germ is visible. Store cooked quinoa in tight container in refrigerator for 3-5 days.  no longer  yuk!

Now you can eat it as if it was rice, or sauté some garlic and veggies like zucchini, peppers and onions, and place on top of Quinoa (eat it hot). Warm up and place two eggs on top, splash of Sriracha, boom!! Breakfast of champs!

For salads, get creative! Here are some combination ideas. Let the cooked Quinoa cool first, then refrigerate.

Mix with chickpeas, chopped cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, chopped red onions, chopped black olives and season with olive oil, lime juice, salt, oregano, thyme and pepper.  Throw in some small pieces of feta cheese.  Opa!!

Mix with chopped green apple, cranberries, toasted almond slivers or walnuts, and shredded lettuce. season with olive oil, lime juice, few drops of agave.

You can add about a 1/4 cup of plain quinoa to any salad you would normally eat.  get creative and share your concoction with us.

You can also try these, both recipes from the T25 meal plan.  5 ingredients, less than 25 minutes to prepare.

Quinoa Patties

3/4 cup cooked Quinoa
1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 tsp flaxseed
1 large egg white
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well.   Form two balls and press firmly with hands until they turn into patties.

Spray non stick skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Place patties on skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side.  Remove from skillet and enjoy with a green salad.

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad

1/2 medium sweet potato, peeled, diced
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp chopped raw cashews.
Olive oil, lime juice, agave, salt and pepper to taste.

Steam sweet potato chunks for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Let cool.

Combine all ingredients and toss gently. 

Serve cold or warm.

How about a Breakfast Quinoa recipe that will get you on the right track for the rest of the day??? This one is taken from the P90X2 meal plan.

Breakfast Quinoa

1 cup Almond milk or skim milk

1 cup water
1 cup quinoa rinsed thoroughly
2 cups fresh berries
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts
4 tsp honey or agave or maple syrup

Combine milk, water and quinoa in medium saucepan.  Bring to boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until most liquid is absorbed.  Turn off heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes.
Stir in berries, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Serve to 4 bowls and top with nuts.
Drizzle 1 teaspoon of sweetener over each serving.

Hope you enjoy these delicious and nutritious pieces of heaven! Take care of your body, we only get one!

I'll be sharing more recipes from now on since I see this is where you guys struggle with the most.  Subscribe to this blog to get everything delivered to your mailbox, fresh off the press.

Share with your friends and let's spread the health!

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