January 25, 2013

An attempt at making Quinoa yummy

I haven't had many good experiences with quinoa. I really haven't even had that much quinoa. Our house has a 4 lb. bag that was donated to us (from my family). When I was home for break, I asked them what were some yummy recipes they had tried. They had none for me...which might be why I ended up with a huge bag of this super grain. I tried a mac and cheese quinoa that replaced quinoa with the noodles. I was NOT a fan. Blegh. Maybe it was because the taste of the quinoa came through? Can you say, "Zero Taste?"

Well, I'm on  journey to find quinoa recipes that are actually appetizing. That sounds a lot more dramatic than it really is. But we have a 4 lb. bag of this stuff!

I have found a recipe that I really do like! It happens to be really appetizing...but looks GROSS.

Vegan Chili
(featuring black beans, sweet potatoes, and quinoa) 

It looks absolutely unappetizing, but I think that's a theme for chilies, right? I like to think of the sweet potatoes as "little orange rays of hope." I think this is a yummy quinoa dish...because the quinoa is masked by black beans and sweet potatoes. I say it's a success. A super, mega, huge bowl of protein success! 

Nutritional Value of Quinoa
  • Found in 1 cup of cooked quinoa:
    •  220 calories (70 percent carbs, 15 percent fat, 15 percent protein)
    • 40 grams of carbohydrates (13 percent daily value)
    • 8 grams of protein (16 percent of daily value)
    • 3.5 grams of fat (5 percent daily value with no saturated fat)
    • A glycemic load (blood sugar spike) of only 18 out of 250
    • 5 grams of fiber (20 percent of daily value)
    • 20 percent of daily value of folate (various forms of Vitamin B)
    • 30 percent of magnesium daily value (beneficial for people with migraine headaches); 28 percent daily value of phosphorous; iron (15 percent); copper (18 percent); and manganese (almost 60 percent)
  • Contains all 8 essential amino acids and an adequate source of protein 
  • Gluten and Wheat Free
As a Vegetarian, I want so badly to fall in love with this food. I am working on it. Seriously.

Do you even know how to pronounce quinoa? I do now. 
It's not QUINN-OH-UH. Unfortunately. According to dictionary.com, it can be pronounced as either [keen-wah] or [keen-oh-uh]

Do you have any quinoa recipes you'd suggest?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Girl,

    I love quinoa! Here are two recipes that I've made and enjoyed.

    Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese
    (don't worry it's not mac & cheese, it uses Parmesan)

    Quinoa with Black Beans & Kale
    (Makes 4 servings, Preparation Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 30 minutes)

    -1 cup quinoa, uncooked
    -2 cups water or vegetable broth
    -1 tbsp. olive oil
    -1 garlic clove, minced
    -3/4 cup onion, chopped
    -1 small red bell pepper, chopped
    -2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or about 3 1/2 cooked black beans from bulk)
    -1 tsp. fresh cilantro
    -1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    -Fresh lime juice to taste
    -Black pepper, to taste
    -3 cups kale, chopped, stems and larger veins removed
    -1 cup fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped

    1. Rinse the quinoa and place it in a pot with the water or broth. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
    2. While quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and chilies and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onions and pepper, cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
    3. Add the beans, cilantro, cumin, lime juice and pepper to taste. Add as much extra water or broth as you wish to make the mixture moist, but not too watery. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is finished cooking.
    4. Once the quinoa is finished, uncover the bean mixture and add the kale. Cook until just wilted, then stir in the tomatoes. Add the cooked quinoa and stir until everything is well combined and heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot.