Chow Bella

Quinoa: Quick and Nutritious

Last week we featured quinoa in a cabbage roll. You found out about the ancient seed treasured by the Incas and called "the mother grain". Quinoa has a higher percentage of protein per serving than wheat, oats, buckwheat or barley and is gluten free. We had a request for a few more easy ways to use quinoa.

We recommended substituting cooked quinoa in recipes calling for rice or couscous. Quinoa also comes in flake and flour form, perfect for making hot cereal and baking.
We present a few more ways to use quinoa and pack the protein into your meatless monday meals.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 ripe avocados, medium dice
1 large tomato, medium dice
1 small cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, small dice
12 sprigs mint leaves, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1.Rinse and drain quinoa
2. Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil
3. Cover pan and simmer quinoa 10-15 minutes, cool
4. In a mixing bowl, combine avocado, tomato, cucumber, red onion, mint, feta and toasted pine nuts. Stir in cooked quinoa.
5. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon zest. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Add dressing and serve
For a southwestern twist: substitute black beans, roasted corn, red bell pepper. Use lime juice instead of lemon juice for dressing and cilantro instead of mint.

Hot breakfast: 
1. Rinse and drain quinoa 
2. Bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil, cover pot 
3. Simmer quinoa 10-15 minutes 
4. Place in bowl and mix in chopped nuts, dried fruit 
5. Drizzle with agave nectar or honey

Blueberry Quinoa Muffins-adapted from Ancient Harvest Quinoa
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 eggs
Line muffin tin with paper liners

1. Preheat oven to 400 F
2. In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients
3. In a small bowl, combine eggs, and agave nectar
4. Combine with dry ingredients
5. Mix blueberries into batter
6. Scoop batter into prepared muffin holders, fill half way
7. Bake 20-25 minutes