Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") has outstanding nutritional properties. It supplies carbohydrates, protein, unsaturated fat, essential amino acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A, E, B1 and B2. Also, it is high in dietary fiber and is gluten-free, so it is a great alternative for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Quinoa is very versatile, and has a light, fluffy texture and a nutty flavor. It can be used as an alternative to a variety of foods from oatmeal to pasta. Before cooking, be sure to check whether your quinoa has been pre-rinsed to remove its natural coating of saponins, which have a bitter taste. If not, rinse it several times under running water in a fine strainer. To prepare, bring to boil a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from the heat and allow to sit in a covered pot for five minutes. Then fluff with a fork and serve as desired. Try the tabbouleh recipe below, which uses quinoa in place of bulgur.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
- 1 can rinsed, drained canned chickpeas or other canned beans (optional)
- 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine the cooked quinoa, lemon juice, and garlic and chill for 30 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
Nutritional Analysis: Calories: 236, Fat: 5g, Sodium: 58mg, Carbohydrate: 40g, Fiber: 8g, Protein: 9g