Quinoa is a nutrient-dense whole grain that can be used in many ways. It is rich in fiber and vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Quinoa is also a source of protein, and contains all nine of the essential amino acids. It has a slightly nutty flavor, and fluffy texture that compliments a variety of dishes. In terms of convenience, it is shelf-stable in its dried form, and only takes about 15 minutes to cook. Here are some ideas for cooking and eating quinoa.
1. Make a quinoa salad that can be served warm or cold. Add-ins may include raw or cooked vegetables, nuts or seeds, beans, herbs, spices, and your favorite dressing.
2. Add it to soups and stews for added texture and satisfaction.
3. Try a sweet breakfast quinoa. Add-ins may include nuts, seeds, cinnamon, maple syrup, or fruit.
4. Flavor it simply as you would rice and serve it as a side dish.
5. Use it to make snack bars with similar flavors to oat-based granola bars.
6. Add it to homemade veggie and bean burgers.
Information gathered & adapted from:
Quinoa, Kale, and Chickpea Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 14.5-ounce can chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 bunch kale leaves, torn (from about 5 stalks)
1 shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 medium tomato, chopped into small dice (about 1 cup)
5-6 fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped (about 1/4 cup)
3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lemon, juiced (about 4 tablespoons juice)
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1. Over medium heat, add the quinoa to a saucepan and toast until it pops steadily and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Add the water, bring to a boil and loosely cover until the quinoa has absorbed most of the water, about 12 minutes. Turn off heat, stir, cover and let sit about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
2.Meanwhile, drain the garbanzo beans, tear the kale into bite-sized pieces, chop the shallot and tomatoes, and tear or chop the basil.
3.Over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a large sauté pan. Add the kale and shallots and cook until slightly wilted, about 6 minutes.
4.Transfer the cooked kale and shallots to a large mixing bowl. Add the quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes and basil. Add a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Toss until well combined.
5.Whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest and 1/3 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add 3/4 of the dressing to the salad and toss. Add additional dressing to taste.
Serving Size: 8 servings
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Recipe adapted from: