Shari Duncan

Tag: Gluten Free

Quinoa (Keen-wa) The Healthy Grain with the Funny Name
Shari

by on Dec.05, 2010, under General Nutrition, High Protein dishes, Recipes

There aren’t many foods that have such high nutrition that they fall into the complete or nearly complete food categories. However, Quinoa is pretty darn close!

Although not a staple in most kitchens today – those who have discovered quinoa know how delicious it is and how good it is for them.   Quinoa is a nutrient dense,  amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked.

I finally decided to give into my curiosity and bought a box of quinoa… and am quickly discovering how really simple, delicious and versatile is.  ..

If you do not know what is so special about quinoa here are six secrets.

Easy to prepare, tasty and versatile. Quinoa is a COMPLETE FOOD!

Quinoa with Black Beans. Easy to prepare, tasty and versatile. Quinoa is a COMPLETE FOOD!

Secret 1 – Quinoa is gluten free

Quinoa is a good source of many vitamins and nutrients. Although technically a seed, quinoa ) is commonly referred to and used most often as a grain
because it is also gluten free and very non allergenic, people with restricted diets can usually eat it wit out any problems.

Secret 2 – It is a complete protein

One cup (cooked) quinoa contains eight grams of protein, nearly twice the amount found in other grains. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it provides the body all nine essential amino acids. For
vegans and vegetarians looking for alternative to tofu and soya it is ideal. It is also far more versatile in the kitchen then other vegan sources of protein.

Secret 3 – Quinoa is REALLY good for your health

It is a vegetable protein which is easy to digest. It also is a complex carbohydrate that slowly releases its goodness into the body. You do not get a rush of carbs followed by a lull. This is great for diabetics and people with kidney problems

Secret 4 – It is available in different types, colors and forms.

The most common is white quinoa. (Also, black quinoa and red quinoa). The different varieties also have different levels of oils in them making some crunchier than others. Quinoa is available in seed (grain form), flour, and flakes. It’s texture is what many love most about this grain (seed).

Secret 5 – Quinoa Can Help You Lose Weight.

Quinoa offers a lot to anyone looking to get healthy. However there are a number of great benefits for those looking to lose weight as well.

  • Because of its protein content and complex carbohydrates quinoa will have you feeling full longer and will also help prevent cravings. You do not need to eat very much to feel satisfied.
  • The amino acids and high quality protein will help you build more muscles. This in turn will have you burning more calories and it will prevent you from losing muscle tone as you lose weight

Secret 6 – It Is Very Easy To Cook

If you can boil pasta or rice then you can cook quinoa. Bring one part quinoa and two parts liquid to boil. Simmer as you would rice for about fifteen minutes or until the grains are translucent.  It has a nutty flavor that complements many other ingredients and adds wonderful texture to soups, stews, stir fry’s and salads

Quinoa is very rich in magnesium,a mineral that helps relax blood vessels, preventing the constriction and rebound dilation characteristic of migraines. Increased intake of magnesium has been shown to be related to a reduced frequency of headache episodes reported by migraine sufferers.  Low dietary levels of magnesium are also associated with increased rates of hypertension, ischemic heart disease and heart arrhythmias, and since magnesium helps to relax blood vessels, adding Quinoa to your diet offers your body protection and can improve your cardiovascular health.

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Quinoa and Black Beans (adapted from Allrecipes.com)

INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 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

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. 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,
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro
Nutrition
Information

Servings Per Recipe: 10

Calories: 142

Amount Per Serving

  • Total Fat: 1.7g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 467mg
Amount Per Serving

  • Total Carbs: 25.6g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6.9g
  • Protein: 6.9g

*My customized version:

I substituted olive oil instead of vegetable oil, low sodium chicken for the vegetable broth, used 1 can black beans (instead of 2) and mixed in about ½-3/4  cup of black bean salsa in at the end.

This is satisfying enough as a meal or as a hearty side dish.  I served with Chili and Lime grilled chicken breasts.

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