Food Focus: Quinoa
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a great source of protein for vegetarians. It’s also high in magnesium, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, riboflavin and zinc.
While quinoa is widely considered a grain, it’s actually the seed of a plant related to chard and spinach. It’s a gluten-free grain and has a similar effect as other whole grains in helping to stabilize blood sugar.
While it isn’t necessary, for best results, rinse quinoa before you cook it or even soak it for a few hours or overnight.
When cooked, it has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. Try it in soups, salads, as a breakfast porridge or as its own side dish.
Recipe: Easy Quinoa Pilaf
Prep Time: 3 minutes Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 1/4 cups water or stock
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley pinch of salt
- Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer until water runs clear.
- Boil the water and add quinoa and salt, cover and reduce heat.
- After 15 minutes add cranberries and walnuts to top; do not stir.
- Cook 5 minutes more, until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove from heat, add parsley and fluff with fork, cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes and serve.