The "Gold Of The Incas"...Quinoa. The name just makes me happy. What is Quinoa, and why does it make me so happy? This ancient grain is on the comeback. This love of mine is a complete protein, whole grain, delivers 20% of our daily fiber requirement and also considered a relative to green leafy vegetables like spinach and swiss chard. I also love the fact i can eat it for a meal, snack, breakfast and throw it in muffins, meatballs and brownies to hide it from the kids!
Not sold yet? How about the health benefits? Because it is a complete protein (contains all 9 essential amino acids), it is a great source for vegetarian and vegans. It rocks in the tissue repair category because it is high in lysine, and has a slu of other awesome nutrients like magnesium, folate and phosphorus that can tame a migraine (great for mammas!).
Other awesome facts about Quinoa
Pretty cool right?! When I first started experimenting with Quinoa, I could only find it in bulk bins in health food stores, but now, it is in every major food store. HOWEVER, I still find the best prices in the bulk bins.
So, What do I do with Quinoa?!? Yummy salads, I stick it in meatballs, make some pretty killer breakfast quinoa, use it in muffins and more.
This was the salad I made the other day:
EASY QUINOA SALAD
• 1 cup quinoa • 1 cup water • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar • 2 teaspoons sea salt • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper • 1 teaspoon lemon juice • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard • 1-cup canola oil • 2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped • 1 green bell pepper, chopped • 1/2 red onion, chopped • 2 tomatoes, chopped • 1 (15 ounce) can black olives, chopped
1.Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Scrape the cooked quinoa into a large bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour or so. 2. Place the vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and mustard into a blender. Drizzle in the oil while blending at high speed until the dressing is thick.
3. Add the cucumbers, bell pepper, red onion, tomato, and olives to the bowl with the quinoa. 4. Pour the dressing over and gently fold until everything is mixed well. You will have extra dressing, so take it slow and use as you like.
YOU CAN CREATE ANYTHING YOU WANT WITH THIS SALAD! I added Avocados. You can add veggies or take out things you do not like. Be creative!!
Try something new and ENJOY The GOLD of the Incas!!