Welcome to The Best Natural Foods Topics of Interest Section. This page provides an overview of the topic of cooking quinoa in quinoa recipes. You can find more detailed information about cooking quinoa in quinoa recipes and other important dietary topics in our new book, The Best Natural Foods on the Market Today.
Have you heard of the super grain quinoa? If you haven’t, you might not be quite sure what to make of this impressive food. Many people adopting a whole foods diet are just learning about quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), an ivory-colored seed from a grass native to the Andes Mountains of South America. It was a staple food of the ancient Incas. While it is grown in the mountainous regions of Colorado and Canada, the majority of the available quinoa today still comes from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru.
When eaten by first-timers, quinoa is readily enjoyed and becomes a favorite. Like cous cous, quinoa has a delicate taste and a light almost nutty flavor. It is an excellent grain to use in dishes that call for white or brown rice. Unlike many whole grains that take close to an hour to prepare, you can cook quinoa in quinoa recipes in only 15-20 minutes. Since quinoa is a quality food, you will likely find it on the menu of progressive restaurants that offer foods such as free range chicken, flax seed oil dressing, and that utilize the benefit of omega 3 eggs.
If you are looking for a good source of protein you can find it in a grain: indeed, amazingly, quinoa is considered a complete protein. Francis Moore Lappe’s Diet for a Small Planet, written back in the “Hippie Wisdom Days” of 1971, brought this to our awareness. She taught us how to make sure we were getting complete proteins from our plant foods by eating complementary proteins. Virtually all plant foods lack an adequate level of at least one of the essential amino acids to be a complete protein on their own. However, a plant food lacking one amino acid can be combined with a plant food lacking a different amino acid, thus forming a “complete protein.”
Quinoa offers more than protein. It also is a good source of vitamins and minerals. A ¾ cup serving of cooked quinoa provides 25% of the daily value for both iron and magnesium and 10% of the daily value for vitamin E, potassium, and fiber. And, I suspect there are beneficial plant chemicals in quinoa still to be discovered. In the meantime, it is safe to extrapolate from other studies regarding whole grains. A higher dietary intake of whole grains lowers your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
Use two cups of water to every one cup of dry quinoa. As mentioned, you can cook quinoa in quinoa recipes in a short 15-20 minutes. When fully cooked, quinoa is fluffy and has white spiral halos attached to each seed. Try quinoa in pilafs, casseroles, soups, and as a base for stir-fried vegetables or beans. In The Best Natural Foods on the Market Today A Yuppies Guide to Hippie Food, Vol. 1, I offer many suggestions on how to add healthier foods into your diet such as Organic Valley organic milk, flax seed oil, and nutritional yeast, almond butter, tahini, miso, and spelt. In addition to the quinoa recipe below, this book offers an amazing healthy smoothie recipe.
Cosmic Quinoa Salad Recipe
|1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 medium or large tomato, cut into ½ inch cubes
6 green onions, finely chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces
¾ cup finely-chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1¼ teaspoons salt
1. Put the quinoa in a fine strainer and thoroughly rinse with hot water.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil over high heat.
3. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12-15 minutes.
4. Cook until quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed.
5. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl.
6. Add in tomato, green onion, cucumber, red pepper, and cilantro.
7. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.
8. Pour over the quinoa and toss well.
9. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutrition Analysis per Serving: 180 calories, 10 grams fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 7 grams monounsaturated fat, 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat, 4 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 390 milligrams sodium