What Can Quinoa Do For You??
If this is your first time hearing about Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), you’re not alone. It is just gaining more attention as more people are learning about the nutritional value of this super food. While it is becoming less rare to find in most people’s pantries it is quickly becoming a staple in many other kitchens. Often considered a grain, it is actually a seed with a seed-like appearance, a slightly crunchy texture and a sort of nutty flavor. Quinoa is closely related to Swiss chard, beets, and spinach. Who would have thought it? This little seed, which was once referred to as the Gold of the Incas, is well on its way to becoming well known and an important part of the worlds nutrition.
Quinoa’s nutritional benefits are more extensive than most realize. Other than being a complete protein with nine essential amino acids, it is loaded with calcium, fiber, iron, and phosphorus. Magnesium, which is also abundant in quinoa, has been recognized for being beneficial for relaxing blood vessels. Magnesium, along with riboflavin, appears to benefit those who suffer from headaches, even migraines. Manganese joins with copper to form an enzyme which guards against cell damage caused by free radicals. So many good things going on all at once!
If you need to eat a gluten-free diet, then this food is a must for you, a perfect substitute in many recipes that call for wheat pasta, rice, barley… There are many ways to add quinoa to your diet and in your recipes, it’s a very flexible ingredient. And with its abundance of dense nutrition it is ideal for the vegetarians in your life. It makes a great burger, too!
Daughter and I came up with this recipe, while trying to concoct a healthy lunch, straight from the pantry. Most days we could have done it. Today, I had to run out and get black beans. We can’t seem to keep them in the house, lately.
This was SO worth the trip to the store.
inspired by The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook
3/4 c quinoa, rinsed really, really well, The natural bitter coating keeps pests away but can be really unpleasant tasting for humans.
zest of one lime, do this before juicing….
2 TBS lime juice
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
1 TBS cumin powder
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 c your favorite salsa (read your labels if gluten is a concern)
1/2 c fresh or frozen corn, you could use canned but I think fresh or frozen taste better
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 of a roasted red pepper, jarred is easier, for sure
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
Combine quinoa, lime zest, lime juice, cayenne, cumin, garlic and 1 1/2 c of water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 25-30 minutes, until quinoa is tender. You may need to sneak a peek and add more water. Or get the lid on quicker than I did…
When cooked, it will have absorbed all the water and be tender. Cooking quinoa is kind of like cooking rice, on the stove top. Next, stir in the beans, corn, salsa and onions let sit covered for a few minutes, to heat everything through, if you want to eat it warm. Or refrigerate and serve cold. Either way, it won’t last long.
This is SO good served hot, cold or room temperature. And with it having no mayo, or gluten, it is a perfect picnic/potluck dish to share.
Give it a go and let me know what you think!
*quinoa information taken from here