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!


  1. I forgot to mention that Costco sells organic quinoa now. You can also buy it in bulk at most health-food stores.

  2. I bought organic quinoa at Trader Joes, so for those of you w/a TJ's close by, that's another option.

    THANK YOU for posting this Erin! Like I said to you before - I bought some quinoa like a month ago, and I keep opening the cabinet, looking at it, and thinking, "hmmmm, I should make that. but what do I DO with it?"

  3. It's about time! Between you being on the road and Glennon "thinking" last week, my daily surfing was really boring. I probably got more done around the house though...

    Tomorrow, purchase quinoa...

  4. Sounds great Erin. And I agree with SLM...I didn't know what to do with myself....

  5. I have had a box in my cabinet for months now. Whole Foods has a few options, and again, WHAT DO I DO WITH IT??? Thanks for sharing. Now maybe I can get my husband to try something new AND healthy.

  6. When in doubt, throw some stir-fry over quinoa instead of rice and enjoy :)

  7. I make a quinoa salad that everyone in the family likes -- cook the quinoa and add green onions, cilantro, diced red bell peppers. Toss with a simple dressing of olive oil, lime juice and minced fresh ginger. Yummy!

  8. Allison - YUM. I will try that.