Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Savor the Flavor of Quinoa this holiday season!

Quinoa-- pronounced Keen-wah....
is an ancient grain that does everything rice does but WAY better!
Plus, its gluten-free! Below is a great recipe that I've whipped up plenty of times in my workshops and is a staple in my diet at least a few times a week. The beauty of quinoa is that it can be used sooo many different ways, however don't get carried away and create the garbage quinoa salad as a little spicin' up goes a long way. Many have asked for a healthy dish that can be shared during the holiday season thats light, tasty and perhaps everyone may end up loving! (if you can get them to at least try it) So here's my top pick of the season.
Also, check out below for the nutritional make-up of quinoa.You may not want to share that with the family as there's some weird thing that when its good for you people are less apt to try it! Why is that? So as a suggestion, for sure, keep 'em fooled with this fabulous taste sensation!
P.S. DISCLAIMER--some think my recipes appear complex in writing, however, I am really spelling it out for you with the exact steps, plus things I've learned, tips I've got. Don't be hung up on the amount of words, its only to really give you the full picture, which most recipes do not!Try it and see just how easy it is!

1) Steam quinoa in rice cooker or in pan on stove( like rice)
2 to 1 ratio as in 2 cups water for every 1 cup quinoa*
(* this is approximate as every pan , steamer is a little different plus dependent on your desired consistency of the cooked quinoa. I prefer it not "sticky and mushy" which can happen if too much water is used)

2) BASIC recipe( for quinoa to actual taste good)
Begin with 2 cups steamed quinoa
once cooled down from steamer( like warm to touch)
FOLD in:
1/4 cup extra virgin oil( or split with other culinary cold pressed oil-I love it with walnut oil)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon high end pristine sun dried salt( my preference-sun fire salt)
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Mix all together.

3)VARIETY options-
from here you can build... select different spices, seasonings, herbs, nuts veggies etc...
Here's a sure bet below for additions that compliment each other and create an amazing dish
(as with anything, overload of too much stuff ends up tasting icky!)

Begin with the Basics recipe above, fold in:
1/4 cup pine nuts( or other nut such as walnuts)
1/4 cup currents
a few basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped flat parsley
1 TBSP finely shredded mint
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
*optional crumbled feta or raw goat cheese
Blend all together.
Serve warm or cold

Here's the stats!
Complete protein- Quinoa contains alll 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles
Magnesium--Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient which helps relax your muscles and blood vessels plus sooo much more.
Fiber-Quinoa is a great fiber source that helps ease elimination and tones you colon.

Enjoy! And be sure to let me know how it goes!

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