Sunday, May 2, 2010


Well, really I am only going to show you one way and tell you about the other. I ate too fast to have any evidence of the first quinoa dish. Quinoa (it's pronounced KEEN WA, mom) falls into that category we hear people talking about called "whole grains," although technically, it's a seed. It is a really great source of protein, which is why you should be eating it.

In general, none of us is probably deficient in protein. We are deficient in quite a few vitamins and minerals due to the fact that we don't eat enough fruits or vegetables-that and we eat too much of the stuff that we shouldn't like sugar, refined flour, caffeine etc...So why, if we don't need to worry about protein am I suggesting quinoa? Because it is cheap, versatile and doesn't have the saturated fats that are found in many other protein sources. It cooks like rice does, in a ratio of about 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa and it cooks in about 20 minutes.

This morning, I made a big pot of quinoa. I put half of it in a bowl in the fridge for later. The rest, I left in the pot, added some almond milk, a spoonful of almond butter and a spoonful of vanilla whey powder, topped with fresh berries - quinoa porridge. Yum. Prepare it according to package directions, then treat it as you would oatmeal. I added the whey powder because I have been experimenting with other sources of protein, but you can easily omit it, add some honey, nut milk (or organic cow's milk), nuts, berries or whatever else you normally put on your oatmeal. I added a little almond butter because fat phobes, fat doesn't make you fat, but it does help fill you up so you aren't hungry as soon as you put the bowl down.

I used the remaining quinoa to create this Mediterranean inspired dish. In this house, garlic and red pepper flakes are almost always found when olive oil is present.

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions*
1/4 cup olive oil, give or take
2 cloves sliced garlic
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
leftover steamed vegetables (asparagus & broccoli)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1/4 cup feta

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for a minute or two, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the capers and the vegetables and cook for another couple of minutes. Because the vegetables are already cooked, you just want to reheat them and coat them with the oil, red pepper and garlic. When everything is coasted in the oil and reheated, pour on top of the quinoa, added a little crumbled feta and more olive oil as needed.

Just in case the package doesn't say it, you should rinse the quinoa before cooking or you will notice a slightly bitter taste.

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