Quinoa, pronounced keen wah, is an ancient grain relatively new to our gluten free markets. In its native country of Bolivia, it’s known as the mother grain and has been a staple in diets there for thousands of years.
Red quinoa is beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. Quinoa comes in three varieties – red, black and white. It has a mild slightly nutty flavor and is an ideal gluten free alternative to pasta.
Wheat, rice and other grains are missing one or more essential amino acids. Whereas, quinoa has them all – making it a complete protein. Amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of the body. We need amino acids to build muscle and repair tissue, plus they play many other important roles in our health.
Not only is quinoa naturally packed with protein, but it also contains a healthy amount of fiber, iron magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids. Quinoa is a feel good food – it tastes great and also energizes and nourishes the body. A win win!
Cooking quinoa is super easy. Once you make a batch, simple add it to salads, use it as a breakfast cereal or even just eat it plain drizzled with some olive oil as a snack. I created this quinoa salad with veggies I had in my fridge. Easy Peasy! Have fun, get creative – the options are endless and delicious!
Red Quinoa Veggie Salad
1 cup quinoa 8 ounces fresh spinach leaves 2 cups broccoli florets 1 cup chopped carrots (sliced in rounds or on the diagonal) 2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Sea salt fresh ground pepper
Cook quinoa according to the instructions on the package. Place 1 inch of water in a sauce pan and add steamer basket. Steam spinach until wilted. Remove spinach from steamer and add carrots and broccoli. Steam for 3 minutes or until tender, as you like it. Whisk vinegar and oil together in a small ball to make the dressing. Place quinoa and veggies in a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and gently toss to combine.
Makes 4 servings
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Suzie Carpenter is a Certified Peak Health Coach and a graduate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City with over 10 years experience eating, cooking and teaching gluten free living. Look for her and her gluten-free, tasty and healthy Clean, Lean, and Savvy snack foods at Guts and Glory 2015! Visit her website at: CleanLeanSaavy.com