Quinoa has been called one of the most nutritious foods on the planet!  Why?  Because it has about twice the protein of regular cereal grains, fewer carbohydrates, and even a dose of healthy fats.  Plus, it’s considered a “complete” protein, which means that, like meat, eggs, and dairy, it packs all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build muscle. There are so many ways to serve quinoa - salads, pilafs, risottos, soups, and even desserts - yet so many people pass it by because they are not sure how to prepare it.  If you can cook pasta, you can cook quinoa.  Simply fill a large pot or saucepan with water, and bring it to a boil.  Add just about any amount of quinoa, turn the heat to low, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the water and allow the quinoa to cool.  Simple, huh?!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, finely diced
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. In a small bowl mix together EVOO, vinegar, garlic, basil and salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl add quinoa, beans, onion, pepper, parsley, corn and tomato.  Mix together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add EVOO mixture to the quinoa mixture and gently stir everything together.  Serve cold and ENJOY!

Nutritional Info:

Makes approximately 6 cups.

Serving size 1 cup.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 271, Cal. from Fat: 126, Total Fat: 14.5g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 30.5g, Fiber: 5.5g, Sugars: 1.5g, Protein: 7.5g, Sodium: 13mg, Chol: 0mg

Notes:

Quinoa can be cooked up in large batches and stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator.  It’s perfect to have on hand as a ready-to-eat side dish-like rice or pasta-that goes with just about any meal. (To warm, microwave for 60 seconds.) You can also use leftover quinoa for…

Breakfast:  Combine a cup of cooked quinoa with 1/2 cup skim milk and 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries (another super food!).  Microwave for 60 seconds.  This makes a great alternative to oatmeal.

Dessert:  In a blender, puree two very ripe bananas with 2 cups whole milk.  Combine the mixture with 2 cups cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup raisins, 1 tbsp of date sugar, and 1 tsp of cinnamon.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  This is a super healthy version of rice pudding.

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