What’s the big deal about quinoa? I know you’ve heard this trendy buzzword around town even if nobody knows how to pronounce it (it’s KEEN-wah). Quinoa is a recently famous superfood that is extremely versatile, tasty and great for your health in many ways.
Why is it so good for me?
A cup of quinoa will give you around 127 calories, 2 grams of fat, 23.4 grams of carbohydrates (2 of those being fiber), and 4.5 grams of protein. Quinoa provides the full spectrum of 9 amino acids and for that it is considered a complete source of protein. It is great for cardiovascular health because of its high levels of magnesium, which relaxes blood vessels, reduces the rate of hypertension, heart disease or heart arrythmias. Quinoa also boosts your antioxidant levels, which promotes a healthy immune system. Finally, since quinoa is high in fiber, it keeps your digestive system running smoothly and can reduce your risk of gallstones. All of this sounds pretty super to me.
What does it taste like?
Quinoa tastes and appears like brown rice or grains, but is actually a seed. It has a nutty flavor that is also fluffy, grainy and slightly crunchy all at once. I am actually eating this recipe right now. In my opinion, it has a clean and refreshing taste that is a great alternative to your everyday sandwich or salad.
Is it hard to make quinoa?
No way! You basically make it the same as you would brown rice, only it takes less time. See directions below for details.
What do you mean “Quinoa is versatile”?
Quinoa can be made for breakfast, lunch or dinner and can be combined with almost anything. For breakfast, try adding nuts and fruit. For lunch, make this recipe and you can try adding different ingredients to suit your taste. For dinner, you can add quinoa to soup or serve it over a salad or on a sandwich. You can also add ground quinoa flour to muffin or cake recipes.
Okay enough taking about it, now get cooking!:
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
- Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
- Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.
- Have fun experimenting with different ingredients that you may already have at home.
A special thank you for the tips to Dietician Melanie at diettriffic.com.