Simply Perfect Quinoa

Quinoa is one of those foods that I’m constantly suggesting to my carb addicted clients.

Why?

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Because quinoa is actually a “pseudo-grain.”

What does that mean exactly? It means that quinoa has the taste, texture and satiety of a grain, but is technically a relative of green leafy vegetables.

How does quinoa stack up against other carbohydrates?

1 cup cooked quiona
Figures courtesy of My Fitness Pal
Carbs: 40g
Protein: 8g
Fiber: 5g
Potassium: 318mg
Calcium: 4%
Iron: 15%

1 cup cooked white rice
Figures courtesy of My Fitness Pal
Carbs: 53g
Protein: 4g
Fiber: 0
Potassium:48mg
Calcium: 0
Iron: 15%

1 cup cooked brown rice
Figures courtesy of My Fitness Pal
Carbs: 45g
Protein: 5g
Fiber: 4g
Potassium: 0
Calcium: 2%
Iron: 5%

1 cup whole grain pasta
Figures courtesy of My Fitness Pal
Carbs: 41g
Protein: 7g
Fiber: 5g
Potassium: 0g
Calcium: 0%
Iron: 0%

Across the board, quinoa is lower in carbohydrates, higher in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. What’s more, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a wonderful protein source for vegans and vegetarians. Beyond that, quinoa is naturally gluten-free, heart healthy and antioxidant rich.

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Quinoa is serious superfood- it’s no wonder that it’s making a 7000 year comeback!

Now that I’ve sold you on quinoa ;), let me fill you on on the biggest complaint I’ve received regarding this glorious superfood…

“It’s too soggy.” I can’t argue that. Soggy quinoa is about as appetizing as wet cat food. Woof! So here it is- a recipe that is guaranteed to produce light and fluffy (non-soggy) quinoa- every time!

Simply Perfect Quinoa

Ingredients:
1 cup white, black, red or tri-colored quinoa (All varietals are relatively similar in nutritional content. The darker the varietal the more crunchy the texture.)
2 cups filtered water
Pinch Himalayan sea salt

Instructions:
1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander to remove dirt and bitterness from the quinoa. Drain well.
2. Combined the rinsed quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over med-high heat.
3. Allow mixture to boil for a few minutes and reduce heat to a gentle simmer (med-low heat).
4. Reduce heat as time goes on if need be in order to maintain a gentle simmer, and refrain from stirring.
5. Remove the pot from heat once the water has drained off and cover for 5 minutes. This allows it to steam and open up- making it light and fluffy.

Common mistakes:
1. Walking away or thinking you can fit in a quick shower while the quinoa is cooking. I’ve made this mistake various times and burnt the shit out of my quinoa.
2. Covering the quinoa while cooking. This often leads to over-cooked, mushy quinoa (no bueno).

What to do with quinoa?
Quinoa is highly versatile and adaptable. Anything that you would generally serve with rice can be supplemented with quiona.
1. Mix with pesto and serve with a wild-caught salmon filet.
2. Mix with chopped cilantro, lime and edamame beans.
3. Add as an accompaniment to your favorite salad.
4. Experiment with different herbs and spices such as garlic powder, turmeric, parsley, or scallions.

Massaged kale + quinoa salad

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Ingredients:
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups raw kale
1 avocado
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
2 TBL olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
Salt to taste

Instructions:
1. Cook quinoa.
2. Rinse and massage kale.
2. Pit and slice avocado.
3. Once the quinoa has cooled toss all ingredients together in large bowl and devour!

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