Quinoa recipes:the health benefits of quinoa

Quinoa, the “how do you pronounce that” nutritional wonder food is becoming ever more popular. So how do you cook with quinoa? What are some quinoa recipes that you can use? What are the health benefits of quinoa?

This amino acid heavy grain was once known as the “gold of the Incas”. The main health benefit of Quinoa is that it is a complete amino acid, as opposed to beans or rice. That means that you can eat quinoa on a fat loss or muscle building diet and not have to eat anything else to meet your protein requirements.

Quinoa is high in magnesium which means it can help migraine headache sufferers.

Recent research shows that quinoa can help to to prevent heart failure and heart disease as well. How’s that for another health benefit?

Add in the fact that quinoa is a great antioxidant and it’s high in fiber and you have a powerhouse nutrient. Here’s some good quinoa recipes.

Quinoa Recipe # 1

QUINOA PILAF
1/2 cup carrot, diced                             6  cups quinoa, cooked (basic recipe)
1/2 cup green onion, diced                   1/4  cup olive oil
1/4 cup celery,  diced                            2  cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup green pepper, diced                    1  cup almonds, sliced
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, diced           1/4  tsp oregano
salt to taste

Sauté chopped vegetables in olive oil until clear, yet crisp: stir in oregano. Add sautéed vegetables to cooked, hot quinoa, mixing well. Add salt to taste. Dry-roast almonds in heavy skillet until lightly golden. Add almonds and mix. Serves 6-8. Quinoa pilaf served as a side dish with fish or chicken is delicious. Vary the pilaf using your favorite vegetables, or by cooking the quinoa in chicken, fish or vegetable stock instead of water.

Quinoa Recipes # 2

Quinoa with Butternut Squash Gratin

  • 1 20 oz. package peeled and diced butternut squash or a 1-1/2 lb. butternut squash peeled and diced
  • 1 cup organic quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. shallots
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 slice Italian bread
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a 2-quart baking or gratin dish with nonstick cooking spray.

If using pre-cut butternut squash, pierce the package a few times with a fork and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes until squash is soft and tender. If using a whole squash, peel and cube it, then put in a ziploc plastic bag and seal. Then pierce a few times with a fork and microwave as directed above.

Wash the quinoa in a fine sieve thoroughly (about 5 minutes) until water runs clear. This is very important, as quinoa has a bitter protective coating that can linger even after processing.

Transfer squash and quinoa to a large (2 or 3-quart) pot. Add water and salt to pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and the quinoa blooms into little spirals. Remove from heat and let rest.
Quinoa Recipe # 3

  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
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