August 1, 2017
Since Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) contains all of the eight essential amino acids, it is considered a complete protein source. Although it is called a grain, cooked, and served like a grain; it is actually a seed. It has been shown to have profound positive effects on the body and contains health promoting properties. Even though it has been around many, many years, it has just recently acquired its well-deserved recognition as a fully functional food (AKA- superfood). Not only is quinoa a complete protein source, but it contains calcium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin E, and lysine. It is lower in carbohydrates than most grains, it is low on the glycemic index scale, AND, it is gluten free!
At home, I use quinoa as an alternative to common grain dishes; add it to different meals and create delicious concoctions. I have used it as a side instead of rice, prepared cinnamon-raisin breakfast cereal instead of oatmeal, made delicious tabouli replacing the bulgur with the seed, and have added it to my green salads and homemade soups.
However, our ultimate favorite way to prepare it is, as a salad of its own. Although my family and I loved homemade pasta salad, we were really not getting a lot of nutrition. What we were getting was that, full, uncomfortable, bloated belly that NO ONE enjoys feeling. Being curious, yet uncertain of the outcome, I decided to try quinoa as the main ingredient rather than the pasta. Oh. My. Gosh!! Totally delicious! Now I serve it regularly at our family gatherings and social functions.
Please feel free to add/omit ingredients to suit your folk’s taste buds, or, enjoy our family favourite recipe just as it is!! Quinoa is JUST so versatile!!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups of water or broth of choice (veggie, chicken, beef, preferably homemade- no additives)
- 1 medium red pepper diced
- 1 medium yellow pepper diced
- 3 celery stocks diced
- ¼ cup red onion diced (or as desired)
- ½ English cucumber diced and seeded
- ½ to 1 clove of garlic diced (optional)
- 1tsp of oregano
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste (I use “real salt”, sea salt or pink himalayan salt)
- Place quinoa in water and soak for 3-4 minutes then rinse. Make sure you rinse well to rid the saponins (naturally occurring insect repellent) as it tends to have a bitter taste and can cause stomach upset.
- Once soaked and rinsed, place water (or broth) and quinoa on the stove to boil stirring constantly as the water begins to disappear. It is usually cooked when all the water is absorbed.
- While quinoa is cooking, dice all veggies and set aside in the fridge. (Keep and eye on your cooking quinoa, do not get side tracked like I do at times…. opppps!)
- When quinoa is cooked, add olive oil and cool for an hour or two.
- Once cool, add all ingredients together and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. The longer it stays in the fridge before eating, the stronger the flavour. Mmmmmmm
- ENJOY!!!!! 🙂 🙂