My (easy) weekly quinoa 'recipe'...

20120705-112048.jpg What is this mess?

Almost every week I make about 1 1/2 cups or 2 cups of quinoa. I buy in bulk from costco,  the "Earthly Choice Organic" bag. Small boxes at your grocery store can be super expensive AND a lot of them are unwashed. Unwashed quinoa kinda tastes like you dumped your dish soap into it, if you don't rinse it thoroughly. And when I've rinsed twice, sometimes three times I still can get a bite of bitter. I like to make the manufacturer do it for me.

Simple rules - you put twice as many cups of water as you put in quinoa, let simmer for about 15 minutes (or until little spirals unwind) and done.

Why I like quinoa:

  • one of the only protein sources from plants that contains all 8 essential amino acids (so it's a whole protein)
  • fiber
  • calcium, iron, folate...
  • check out a great article for much more in depth information here

What I add:

  • a little bit of olive oil. Healthy fats help you absorb some vitamins.
  • veggies galore! It's one way I sneak vegetables into my diet. I've been buying a bulk bag of frozen carrots, broccoli and cauliflower from costco. Obviously fresh, organic, etc is always better, but again I'm trying to be budget friendly. One day when I'm rich everything will be organic and amazing.
  • beans - more later on how wonderful these can be for you. For now just think: protein and fiber.
  • some salt and pepper. I throw in different herbs and seasonings each week. Gotta keep it exciting.

Some ways I use it during the week:

  • Add it to various soups during lunch to add some filling whole grains
  • add it to some pasta sauce and serve with chicken sausage. It's a great alternative to pasta and I don't notice I'm substituting in some healthy goodness.
  • Under some salmon
  • tossed in a salad.
  • You get the idea!