Quinoa: Is it a grain or a seed?

quinoaphoto

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is actually a seed. If you’ve never had quinoa before it tastes sort of like a rice but is packed with protein and fiber. In a half cup serving of this delicious grain-like seed you’ll get 4 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fiber. At 111 calories and only 16 calories from fat you won’t feel guilty for eating these tiny morsels. It is relatively inexpensive and super easy to make. In fact its easier to cook than rice. 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa, bring to a boil, reduce and let simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes. You’ll know when it is fully cooked when the little white tails (the germ) pop out of the seed. Be sure to drain any excess water. I’ve found all kinds of different ways to cook quinoa. This seems to be the easiest and fastest.

Pinterest is totally saturated with all kinds of savory and sweet recipes for quinoa. Here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy!

kalequinoaphoto

INGREDIENTS (adapted from yummysupper.blogspot)

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup steamed kale, chopped
  • 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (made from scratch with gluten free bread)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • optional toppings: avocado, cilantro, lemon juice, salsa verde, garlic oil

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, eggs, green onions, garlic, salt, steamed kale, and gluten free breadcrumbs. The batter should be moist but not too runny. Form patties and get your pan ready for cookin’.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the patties for 7-10 minutes or until they are nice and crispy brown on each side. Bon appetite!

blueberriesphoto

INGREDIENTS (adapted from closetcooking.com)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk (sweetened or unsweetened, you pick)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon peacans, toasted and coarsley chopped
Directions
  1. Bring the quinoa, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Mix in the blueberries and top with the pecans.

curryquinoaphoto

INGREDIENTS (adapted from happyfolks.com)

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • large handful of spinach
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1 clove garlic
  • fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup curry powder of choice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Scrub potatoes. With skins on, cut into 1″ cubes and lay out on a baking sheet. Toss with a bit of oil and salt. Bake at 475′ for 20 minutes.

Sauté the chopped red onion until fully cooked. Add in minced garlic and grated ginger to the onions and sauté for a bit longer.. Remove from heat. Add sweet potatoes when they are just beginning to brown and crisp on the edges. Add a cup of stock and the curry powder, stirring to coat. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes, adding stock and some salt to taste. Add some well chopped spinach and toss so it just barely wilts.

Serve over a bed of quinoa with a sprinkling of currants. You could also substitute the currants for dried cranberries (Craisins). I like to chop the Craisins up. That way I get the full flavor of the Craisins in every bite without having to rack up the calories and sugar by adding too many.

ENJOY!

Picture 36

 

I also love to use quinoa as a little salad topper. 1/4 cup is a typical serving. Use more or less it’s up to you. Top your favorite salad with the quinoa for a little extra protein and carbs. Voila!!

Have fun making your own variations of these recipes and please share some of your favorite quinoa recipes!

 

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