Quinoa rocks. Simple as that.
It is protein rich (a complete protein, in fact, boasting all 9 essential amino acids), loaded with vitamins and minerals and amazingly easy to prepare.
The list of health benefits is long – and impressive. Once referred to as “the gold of the Incas”, this little Peruvian seed has been credited with relieving migraines, preventing hyper-tension and high blood pressure, providing invaluable antioxidant protection and boosting energy levels. And the list doesn’t stop there.
But what makes quinoa truly fabulous is how simple it is to prepare. 15 minutes tops and you have yourself a tasty pot of quinoa, ready to be mixed with berries & maple syrup for breakfast or topped with sautéed greens for a quick-and-easy dinner. All it takes is a quick rinse to remove it’s bitter coating, 5-10 minutes in a simmering pot of water (or broth, if you are feeling adventurous), 5 minutes to “rest” and you’re all set.
Although the recipe ideas are endless, quinoa tabbouleh is one of my favorites. Light and crisp, it is a great side dish served with fish or grilled chicken. But also hearty enough to stand alone as a lunchtime salad. Either way, it is delicious, nutritious and easy – a perfect combination.
1 cup quinoa
3 ripe tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1 cucumber, seeds removed and diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup of mint leaves, chopped
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh sieve. Add to two cups of cold water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes, until the grains are just cooked.Rinse until cold water to prevent the quinoa from cooking further. Drain well.
- While the quinoa is cooking, combine the lemon and salt in a small bowl. stir until the salt is dissolved. Whisk in the oil and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, mint and dressing. Season the taste.
Tips for deseeding your veggies:
Tomatoes – cut tomatoes in half at the “equator” and then squeeze out the unwanted seeds.
Cucumbers – cut in half lentgthwise and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon.