Monday, May 10, 2010
Hello Friends. I've missed you.
And I've missed sharing recipes and ideas for living healthier with you as well. It would seem that when I'm not sharing these things with you and being inspired by your tips, tricks and efforts that I'm less inclined to make the best choices myself.
So, without further ado, I offer you a week long series on quinoa. Quin-WHAT you may ask? I will tell you.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is actually not a grain; it is a seed. It is closely related to the spinach family but when cooked, it is light, fluffy, and slightly nutty in flavor. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles. It also contains high levels of magnesium which helps relax your muscles and blood vessels, helping to lower blood pressure. Quinoa is also packed with fiber, manganese and copper which act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances. It is also non-allergic and can be used in a wheat-free or gluten-free diet. ‘Nuf said.
Quinoa cooks and tastes like a grain so you can use it anywhere you would use rice or couscous. However, it cooks much FASTER than brown rice and really is a snap to make:
Combine 2 parts water (or broth) to 1 part quinoa (e.g., 2 cups water with 1 cup quinoa) and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the water is combined.
How easy is that?
For a super simple lunch or light weeknight dinner, toss together baby spinach leaves with sliced strawberries, toasted pecans, cooked quinoa and a sprinkle of goat cheese. Dress the salad with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yum.
Mel’s variation of this includes baby spinach, cooked quinoa, sliced cherry tomatoes, pecans and kalamata olives.
Experiment with your favorite ingredients and let us know what you discover!