Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wa") is a grain-like seed that has recently gained popularity for its unique super food qualities.
Originally found in ancient Peru, this nutty seed is packed with protein and nutrients making it a great choice for vegetarians and vegans as well as individuals following a gluten-free diet. It looks similar to couscous, however has a nuttier and more complex flavor.
Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids, including lysine. Many grains lack lysine, so quinoa an excellent addition to the diet. It is also rich in iron, vitamin E, potassium, fiber and magnesium.
It is a great substitute for other grains in the diet. While there are hundreds of varieties, the three main ones that you will see on your supermarket shelves are white, red and black quinoa. These varieties are widely available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins.
Learn how to cook quinoa here
Quick, colorful quinoa Grecian salad
Source: Cooking Light, APRIL 2006
Yields: 10 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 cup thinly sliced radicchio
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped English cucumber
- 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
Place quinoa in a large bowl; cover with water. Let stand 5 minutes; rinse well, and drain.
Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan; stir in quinoa. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Uncover; fluff with a fork. Cool to room temperature.
Combine olive oil and next 5 ingredients (through sea salt) in a large bowl. Add cooled quinoa, tomatoes, and the remaining ingredients; toss well.
Amount per serving:
- Calories: 186
- Calories from fat: 30%
- Fat: 6.3g
- Saturated fat: 0.9g
- Monounsaturated fat: 3.9g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1.2g
- Protein: 5.9g
- Carbohydrate: 25.1g
- Fiber: 3.1g
- Cholesterol: 1mg
- Iron: 2.5mg
- Sodium: 367mg
- Calcium: 37mg