Quinoa – A powerhouse of a Seed
I usually get a “huh” when I am telling client or other people about this small but mighty seed. You pronounce it “keen-wa” a little different than how you think it would be sounded out. Quinoa comes from the Andes of South America and has sustained generations of people. It was one of three staple foods, along with corn and potatoes of the Inca civilization. It comes in different colors but all contain similar nutritional profiles.
Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain, an unusually high quality which contains all eight essential amino acids which is truly ideal! High in fiber and other minerals makes it a win-win for you and your family! One of my favorite things about it is that is cooks in only 15 min – that is faster than getting pizza delivered and a whole lot more nutritious for your family! It is also very adaptable to whatever flavors you want to add it too – which makes it very versatile!
You can use it in lots of recipes! I try and use it anyway that I can because it bumps up the nutrition for my family and clients and in record time (which is always a plus when you are a busy mom). If you have a gluten allergy or intolerance then this is perfect fit for you. It also comes in a flour that you can use for baking, pasta and flakes (similar to oatmeal). Showing up low on the glycemic index it is also good for those with diabetes. Try adding ½ cup to soups as it is simmering away and it will not only thicken up a too thin soup but add extra nutrition!
- Try adding ½ cup to soups as it is simmering away and it will not only thicken up a too thin soup but add extra nutrition!
- Try using cooked quinoa in meatloaf or meatballs in place of bread crumbs – you will find that it holds together just the same and is delicious!
- Mix cooked quinoa with red sauce before topping a pizza or add to the middle of a quesadilla to very simply add essential nutrition to your kid’s favorites.
- I use it for all kinds of side dishes when I need to stretch some veggies instead of always making a side of pasta.
- Use half water and half veggie or chicken broth when cooking to add even more flavor.
|Beef and Quinoa Meatballs||
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 pound (95-percent) lean ground beef
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
- 1/4 cup grated carrots
- 1/4 cup grated zucchini
- cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 T. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 T. chopped parsely
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil then grease with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together beef, cooked quinoa, onions, carrots, zucchini, ketchup, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, salt, oregano, thyme and egg until well combined.
- Shape beef mixture into 16 balls and transfer to prepared baking sheet. I run may hands under the water every few meatballs so that my hands don’t get too sticky.
- Roast until cooked through and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Serve hot and top with red sauce.
- (Note: To cook quinoa, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small pot. Pour in ½ cup quinoa, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside off of the heat for 10 minutes then fluff with a fork. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.)