Getting tired of rice and pasta? Curious about quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a whole grain that makes a good substitute for rice, or pasta. Quinoa is a nutritious South American grown crop, and in comparison to other grains, is high in protein, rich in vitamins and minerals, and delicious with vegetables, beans, or berries.
One-fourth of a cup of cooked quinoa yields only 55 calories, but is packed with protein and fiber (1.3 g and 2 g respectively!). Quinoa contains the most protein in comparison to any other grain. For six to eight people, try cooking one cup of dry quinoa. Quinoa is quick and easy to prepare. (see below for a recipe and directions).
A common brand is Ancient Harvest Quinoa, usually found in grocery stores in the ethnic foods aisle. If not there, or in the pasta aisle, quinoa may be found in the gluten-free section.
There’s an endless variety of items to prepare with quinoa! For a tasty alternative to breakfast oatmeal, try whole grain quinoa with berries, sliced almonds, cinnamon, honey and yogurt.
A favorite of mine, and a delicious nutritious dinner option is Quinoa with sweet potatoes. Paired with the health benefits of quinoa, sweet potatoes also bring a healthy serving to the table. Sweet potatoes are full of potassium plus eye boosting Vitamin A and beta carotene.
ps -These dishes save well as leftovers!
2 cups cooked quinoa or (1 cup raw)
1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Cook the quinoa. Combine 1 cup dry quinoa with 2 cups water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Turn heat on medium-low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and dice it into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces. Cook in boiling salted water to cover until tender, about 15 minutes; drain well.
OR a quicker alternative, cook the sweet potato in the microwave on high for 5 minutes, then peel and dice.
2. Fluff together the potato, quinoa, and onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the oil and toss the salad. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Want to try quinoa without cooking yourself? Check out our Good Measure Meals Vegetarian meal plan that uses quinoa as one of many protein sources!