Quinoa: the Gold of the Incas!

There’s been a lot of buzz about “wonder foods” and quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is certainly one of them! Nicknamed “gold of the Incas”, quinoa is an ancient grain getting a lot of recognition. It is showing up on menus all over! From quinoa eggs Benedict to hearty supper side dishes, this little seed is gaining high acclaim in the food world.

There are so many benefits to quinoa. It is high in fiber, a complete protein, and contains no gluten, making it perfect for vegans and those with gluten sensitivities.


Red Quinoa!
(Photo courtesy of FitSugar)

Quinoa is easy to cook and highly adaptable. This little seed gets light and fluffy after cooking and has a subtle nutty taste that pairs well with other flavors. My favorite cooking technique is to lightly toast the seeds in a dry pan before cooking them to bring out that delicious nutty flavor.

This wonder food is great as a side dish and fantastic in salads like in my Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad, which is studded with cucumber, garbanzo beans, hazelnuts and golden raisins – yum! Perfect as a side dish or easy to make and pack for a healthy fulfilling lunch.

Give this mighty seed a try: it’s great for you and its d’lish… what a fantastic combo! –Kathy

Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad
I like to make this salad with all organic produce and also add in a cup of chopped fresh raw kale for extra fiber!

Makes about 4 cups

3/4 cup red quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced or grated lemon zest
1/2 cup peeled, seeded and 1/4-inch-diced organic cucumber
1/2 cup canned organic garbanzo beans, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2cup organic golden raisins
1/2 cup organic hazelnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup grated carrot
3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well. Put the drained quinoa in a heavy medium saucepan and dry roast the grain over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff grains with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients and toss well.

*Available at PCC Markets and Whole Foods.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 11th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, sides

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