What’s the big deal about quinoa?
For one thing, quinoa is a complete protein source. It is gluten-free. Quinoa is a good source of fiber (One-half cup of quinoa has 14 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.). This mighty super-grain can help offset the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and has a wide range of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Quinoa is not a cereal grass like wheat, oats, barley, or rye, but is a member of the same food family that contains spinach, Swiss chard, and beets. One cup of cooked quinoa has a total of 222 calories, with approximately 39 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fat. WOW!
Quinoa is one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet! It may even become an “out-of-this-world” crop. NASA scientists think quinoa is suitable to be grown in outer space.
Quinoa comes in a variety of colors: red, black, white, or mixed (shown above) to compliment almost any main dish, or on its own mixed with other side dish ingredients or salads. Heck, this salad can be gobbled up on its own!
Give this casserole from my recipe box a try: QUINOA SPINACH ARUGULA & CHEESE CASSEROLE YUMMY!!
Any way you look at it, quinoa is one super food health conscious cooks should include in their pantries. For me, it has the texture of couscous, which I like. Now that my husband and I are trying to follow a heart-healthy diet, I’m sure we’ll discover fantastic uses for this incredible, edible pseudo-grain.
Let’s make some up for lunch!
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 large or 2 small heads of broccoli, cut into florets or use frozen chopped broccoli thawed and well drained
- 6 ounces sweet grape tomatoes, cut in half
- ¼ cup + 1Tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1-2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2-3 Tablespoons honey
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup pine nuts, roasted
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Toss the broccoli florets with 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Place broccoli on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until broccoli is tender and golden.
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside.
- To make the dressing, combine dijon, honey, lemon, garlic, and ¼ cup of olive oil in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, broccoli florets, roasted pine nuts, and tomatoes.
- Serve the salad warm, cold, or at room temperature.
And trade the honey-vinegarette for low-fat Italian dressing - Yum!