With quinoa being so commonplace now, I sometimes wonder if is really worthy of it’s current status as “Mother” of grains. Seriously, who hasn’t tried a quinoa salad? Maybe my lovely in-laws in Dublin, GA – but actually I think they probably have by now, because this ancient Peruvian grain has found its way onto tables Nationwide – from the snowy plains of Alaska to the meat & vege cuisine of the southern Bible belt – a quinoa salad is a treasure for some, and an absolute dread for others!
I think it actually is worthy of it’s lofty title, and I think it’s here to stay because it ticks so many important nutritional boxes.
The fact is that little nutty/slightly bitter grain is a nutritional powerhouse:
Protein: 8 grams.
Fiber: 5 grams.
Manganese: 58% of the RDA.
Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
Folate: 19% of the RDA.
Copper: 18% of the RDA.
Iron: 15% of the RDA.
Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
Over 10% of the RDA for Vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
Small amounts of Calcium, B3 (Niacin) and Vitamin E.
I use quinoa in place of rice and pasta 80% of the time because it’s quick to cook, gluten-free, filling, and contains all the above nutrients. It does, however, have a slightly strange taste on its own – one that I am now totally used to, but one that my daughter (and any pasta/rice lover) detests.
For this reason I think you really need to dial up the flavor factor of any quinoa dish. Here are 4 simple recipes that do just that, and that are so tasty that you’ll enjoy your quinoa as never before!
1. Quinoa Porridge: Place 1/2 cup quinoa in a saucepan, add 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup So Delicious Coconut unsweetened coconut milk, 4 pitted/chopped dates, and 1 cinnamon stick. Simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. (Serves 2).
2. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad bowl: 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (chilled), 1/2 cup white beans, 4/5 Kalamata olives, 1/2 cup red and yellow bell peppers (chopped), 1/2 cup Arugula, 4 cherry tomatoes (halved), 1/2 sliced avocado, 1 Persian cucumber (sliced) torn up fresh basil leaves. Dress with Balsamic dressing (1/2 EVOO, 2tbsp Balsamic, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp honey, sea salt to taste).
4. Tex Mex Quinoa Burrito: Fill a gluten-free soft flour tortilla with 1/4 cup cooked quinoa, 2 tbsp black beans, 1/2 sliced avocado, 2 tbsp tomato salsa, a handful of fresh cilantro.
All of these recipes fit beautifully into my 30-day Gorgeous For Good program, so do make sure you’ve pre-ordered your copy!