Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quinoa- The Super Easy Super Food!

My journey to a greener healthier lifestyle has taken me down many avenues, sometimes it's a tofu super highway where I'm not really sure exactly what to think,sometimes it's a bottomless free fall down the rabbit hole and others it takes me down Easy Street, that's where I met Quinoa (keen-wa).

This ancient grain (which is actually a seed)originated in the Andes and has been around for centuries. It's nutty flavor and rice like texture make it a shoe in for endless possibilities!
Why is it Super you ask? Well, it is "unusually" high in protein, low in carbs and packed full of all 8 amino acids!
Complete nutrition in a tiny, easy to store, easy to use package!

This was the first recipe we used for Quinoa and LOVED it!


* 1/2 cup quinoa
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
(if your are strictly veggie water will work here. we use chicken stock to add flavor!)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
* 1/2 medium onion , chopped
* 1 cup chopped zucchini
* 1 tablespoon chopped basil
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon paprika
* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 6 medium tomatoes
* 2 teaspoons breadcrumbs
* 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Throw Quinoa in your sauce pan, toss in 1T olive oil to coat. Then add in salt,pepper,Italian seasonings,garlic and chicken stock. Bring it to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 m ins.

2. Sautee onion and zucchini with the other 1T olive oil, paprika and cumin, throw in the fresh basil at the last minute just to wilt.
Tip: I hulled out my tomatoes while all of this was cooking.

3. Once Quinoa is done, combine the two mixtures.

4. Stuff the tomatoes generously, top with a sprinkling of bread crumbs and Parm cheese.

5. Cover and bake @ 350 for about 20 mins. Tomatoes should be warm not squishy.
Tip: After the tomatoes are cooked, I uncovered them and turned the broiler on for a few minutes to brown the top!

Nutritional Info:
164.1 calories
3.4g fat
0.7g saturated fat
5.9g protein
30.6g carbohydrate
1 mg cholesterol
4.2g fiber

After trying this, we decided that we wanted more crunch and less tomato so I made this alteration and THIS is my favorite so far!!

1. Prepare Quinoa just as above.
2. Prepare onion and zucchini just as above.
(yes, same spices)
3. After you have mixed the two together, tear up some raw baby spinach and stir into the mixture.
4. Spray a bread loaf pan with some non stick spray and transfer the Quinoa, onion, zucchini and spinach mixture to your bread pan.
5. Sprinkle Parmesan bread crumbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top, this is going to brown up into yummy, crunchy deliciousness!
6. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 mins, keeping an eye on the top. Once its all nice and warm, if the top is not as brown as you want it, then just turn on the broiler for a few minutes, but watch it carefully!

The possibilities are endless with this stuff!
Have fun and let us know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. Another great super grain is farro. Here is a web site that sells it: