Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is one of the most bland looking, yet most talked about superfoods of the past 2 years. This is due to both its versatility in cooking and the fact that it is a gluten-free grain. It you suffer from celiac disease, consider adding this to your nutrition regime.
Other interesting facts about Quinoa:
High Protein – Quinoa is a great protein alternative for those looking to eat more vegetarian or simply those just wanting to eat more whole foods. Quinoa can promote weight loss, build muscle, alleviate migraine headaches, help diabetes, promote cardiovascular health and prevent hardening of the arteries. It does all this and more while it fulfills its role as a super antioxidant.
Unique – Quinoa is considered a balanced protein, as it contains most of the key life supporting nutrients, along with all eight essential amino acids. This balance makes it highly digestible and completely unique in the plant kingdom.
Rich in Vitamins – Aside from its high protein content, quinoa is high in fibre, and vitamins: potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, folate, and manganese. It is also abundant in linoleic acid, the essential fatty acid for the immune system.
Now for the best part.
It is very easy to cook!
An easy recipe that serves as a main or side dish, and leftover for lunch on its own or in a multigrain wrap:
Greek Quinoa Salad
• 2 cups filtered water
• 1 cup ( 160 mL) organic quinoa
• 1 cup (250 mL) diced organic cucumber
• ½ cup (125 mL) finely cut organic red pepper
• ½ cup (125 mL) sliced or chopped black olives
• ½ cup (125 mL) crumbled feta (use goat if possible)
• ¼ cup (60 mL) finely diced organic red onion
• 3 Tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
• 3 Tbsp (45 mL) organic freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
• ¼ tsp red chilli flakes
• cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste
Bring the water to boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes. Remove off the burner and leave the covered pan for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. At this point you may squeeze ½ the amount of lemon into the quinoa to really fuse in for taste.
In a separate medium bowl take the prepared veggies: cucumber, red pepper, red onion, olives, and feta. Add the cooled quinoa and mix well. Whisk the olive oil, remaining lemon juice, chilli flakes, and dried oregano in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and veggie mixture and gently toss until evenly distributed. Add cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste.
You may refrigerate but keep it on the counter if you are using within a 4 hour window – the flavours will take much better!
Serving tip: The perfect side with grilled salmon.