Keen On Quinoa: How To Add This Superfood Into Your Daily Diet

Keen On Quinoa: How To Add This Superfood Into Your Daily Diet
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First thing is first, quinoa is pronounced like keen-wa. Say it with me KEEN-WA. I've said it once here, and I'll say it again. It is not pronounced like quin-noa, and it is definitely not pronounced like keno.

Quinoa is one of those foods that is in unfamiliar territory. It's not rice, but it looks like couscous, yet it is not pasta, nor a grain, nor a cereal. Quinoa is actually a seed harvested from a plant called goosefoot. This goosefoot seed is a superfood and contains all 8 essential amino acids and over 8 grams of protein per portion. It also contains no gluten (can I get an AMEN from my gluten-free friends) and is stuffed with nutrients like phosphorus and iron that the modern diet can often lack.


So with all those benefits, we obviously need to be ingesting more of this glorious stuff. How do we do this?

First, you have to master the art of cooking it.

Luckily, this isn't too tough a challenge to perfect. When I first started making quinoa I was so lost. I followed this guide on www.tophousedecor.com for preparing quinoa in a rice cooker. This is so much easier than stove top if you have the appliance. However, stove tops work just as well and will produce fluffy results each and every time.


Another thing I love about quinoa, if you burn some of it, the rest is salvageable. That charcoal flavor does not carry over to the other particles. Let me tell ya, I have thrown away my fair share of burnt quinoa.

Pro tip: Cook your quinoa in a broth (vegetable, chicken, etc) for added flavor!

Mix it into salads

One of the easiest way to include more quinoa in your diet is to mix it into a salad. Add a little-chopped tomatoes, onions, and cucumber for a simple salad but to amp it up, why not add a super tasty dressing as well.

Try This:

Cooked quinoa 1 cup per person
Cherry tomato halved ½ per person
Red onions, ¼ cup per person
Artichokes in oil - drained ¼ per person
Olives green or kalamata ¼ cup per person halved
Cucumber chopped ¼ cup per person
Shredded mozzarella cheese (as desired) 

Prepare, mix the ingredients and then toss in the dressing detailed below. 

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ lemon squeezed
2 cloves of garlic crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

OH MY LANTA IT'S GOOD.

Savory

The great thing about quinoa is that is can be used in so many ways. Many people eat quinoa served plain as a replacement for rice, or potatoes. I've switched out a lot of my pasta dishes for a quinoa dish.


I know a lot of vegetarians use it as the main ingredient of their meal. The quinoa and kale patties at www.bbcgoodfood.com make a meal centered around the seed

Sweet

I had no idea until one day I was pinning endlessly while watching Greys Anatomy that there are a wealth of recipes that are sweet that incorporate quinoa into cookies, cakes, fudge, and even pudding!

One of our my favorite sweets that use quinoa is chocolate energy balls. I've posted about energy toast before but energy balls are SO convenient for those that are always on the go.  These are super yummy yet healthy treats that you can make quickly at home by using the recipe at www.simplyquinoa.com. Of course, you will need to learn how to make crispies like in the video below.



or be okay with just buying them (like me). :)

Also, making cookies from quinoa is easy too! All you need to do is cook it and then add to the other usual ingredients as you will see at www.allrecipes.com! Quinoa cookies are actually three-step process making your sweet tooth THAT much more accessible.


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Any fun quinoa recipes you've tried?



Keen On Quinoa: How To Add This Superfood Into Your Daily Diet

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