Keen on quinoa

Quinoa is an ancient grain that has recently become a go-to food for healthy eaters everywhere. Once referred to as “the mother of all grains” by the Incas, quinoa contains essential nutrients not found in other grains. Easy to prepare, quinoa has a light, fluffy texture and a slightly nutty flavour when cooked.

Health benefits

• Not only is it very high in protein, it’s considered a complete protein which means it includes all nine amino acids.

• Quinoa contains lysine, an amino acid that’s essential to tissue growth and repair.

• It’s gluten-free for anyone who has gluten sensitivity.

• A high source of magnesium, quinoa contributes to overall cardiovascular health.

• It contains riboflavin — a member of the vitamin B family that is said to help eliminate migraines.

• It’s an excellent source of dietary fibre.

Nutritional data

One cup, cooked: 254 calories, 46.8 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 4 g dietary fiber and 9 g protein.

How to cook quinoa

For one cup:

1. Soak quinoa for about five minutes. Most packaged quinoa has been soaked and rinsed already but this extra step ensures that quinoa is cooked evenly.

2. Rinse well in strainer.

3. Put into pot with one and a half cups of water. Add salt if desired. Bring to a boil.

4. Cover, turn stove to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes. The cooked germ looks like a tiny curl.

6. Fluff with fork.

7. Add ingredients or enjoy as is!

Meal ideas

Breakfast

Cooked, quinoa can be eaten much like oatmeal, with honey, berries, and raisins. It can also be eaten raw with milk like corn flakes.

Lunch/Dinner

Modify your regular stir fry recipe by using quinoa instead of rice. Sauté with veggies, chicken, tofu and sauces to create a well-balanced meal.

Prepare a quinoa salad. Mix feta cheese, green onions, chicken, cherry tomatoes and dress with olive oil and lemon. Both options are easily modifiable to accommodate your favorite foods and or fridge contents.

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