The Lean Green Bean

Friday, August 27, 2010

Quinoa- The Quiet Protein

Good Morning!

So, when I decided to stop eating meat, I started looking for other sources of protein to add to my diet. I tried tofu, which is not my favorite, and really isn't that good for you since it's so processed...I tried tempeh, which is less processed but still doesn't taste great.. The more I read about meat stand-ins, the less inclined I was to eat them. Enter quinoa! I was in Costco one day and happened to see a giant bag sitting on one of the end caps. A four pound bag for $7 or some ridiculously low price for the number of servings you can get out of it.

Never heard of it? Don't worry, I'd only had it once or twice before this year. Don't know anything about it? Don't worry, I really didn't either.

It's a great source of protein- better yet, it's a complete protein, so it has all of the essential amino acids that your body needs, just like meat does. It's like rice, but better for you!

There's hardly any salt, no sugar, it has fiber, protein and no cholesterol...i mean come on people, give it a try!  I would not, however, recommend buying 4 lbs if you've never had it before! They sell much smaller boxes at the grocery store and some people don't like the taste. When I cook it, i usually make 1/2 or 1 cup of quinoa and then keep it in the fridge and throw it in whatever I make that week. Or I just eat it plain with some soy sauce :)

Add 2 cups water for every 1 cup quinoa. Put it in a small pan, cover it, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 15 minutes. Make sure you read the box because some varieties are not pre-rinsed so you'll want to throw it in a colander and rinse away some of the bitter stuff on the outside if that  hasn't already been done for you. Before you cook it, it will look like this:

When it's done, it will look like this- you will know it's done because you can see the spirals! Cool, huh?:

You can put it in stir frys or tacos...last week I threw it in with some sauteed vegetables and tomato sauce and had it over spaghetti...

Use your imagination and enjoy! If you have a favorite quinoa recipe...share it in the comments!!


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