Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is often mentioned in a written paragraph or by certain media (including you social media) commentators in a dismissive even disdainful manner. Utterances along the lines of “Oh those quinoa fanatics” or “That Gwyneth Paltrow craze” , even ” along with those strange/hippy/alternative/healthfreak people that eat things like quinoa and <insert healthy food ingredient of choice here>”. Ok I am completely paraphrasing here but I have seen and heard this. It must stop! 🙂
My mission should you choose to accept it, is to convince you otherwise.
I admit on its own quinoa is a bit dull tasting. But it works wonderfully with added flavour – from herbs and spices and lemon/lime juice and roasted garlic (lovely..). A drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil once cooked, some turmeric added to the cooking water, chopped mint and basil.. Anyway I regress..
- Complete protein as it contains all eight essential amino acids.
- Complex carbohydrate (we need more complex and less simple carbs)
- Full of vitamins and minerals (magnesium & iron)
- Will help you feel fuller for longer with the protein and fibre benefits
Here are a few ideas to get you started…
- Cold Salad: add lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, herbs such as mint, basil, coriander, chives
- Warm salad: use in place of rice or potatoes
- Vegetarian sweet potato, chickpea and quinoa curry – a revelation!
- Quinoa flour in baked goods such as muffins and cookies
- Use in pancakes with quinoa flour
- For breakfast, use quinoa flakes for porridge or granola
- I gotta try out some of the recipes here from this New York based blogger who writes solely about quinoa;
Leftover chicken dinner with quinoa
Half mug quinoa
Juice of half a lemon or lime
Clove garlic crushed
Chilli flakes (optional)
1/2-1 red onion diced (or shallot)
Thumb sized piece of ginger grated (or use 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
Leftover cooked chicken from yesterdays dinner (or lamb or pork) chopped into smaller chunks
Broccoli florets (chopped small to speed up cooking time) – steamed or par-boiled separately
Cherry tomatoes – 3/4 halved
- Cook quinoa according to packet instructions. Add turmeric to cooking water towards end of cooking time.
- Meanwhile gently fry the garlic and onion in a pan in coconut oil. Grind in the chilli flakes (how much depends on personal taste) and ginger. Cook until softened.
- Add in the broccoli florets and stir-fry for 2/3 minutes
- Add in the cherry tomatoes towards end of cooking until they soften a bit.
- Squeeze lemon or lime juice over the quinoa to flavour
- Grind some black pepper over the stir-fry to taste and add the mix to the quinoa.
- Add your leftover meat to the mix.
- Drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil over the lot.