Why Quinoa is Queen (and what to do with her)

IMG_5358I’ll admit when I first tasted quinoa I couldn’t envisage a day when I would actually enjoy eating it…and now I kind of hate myself for saying it goes in the shopping basket every single week, without exception. How very middle class of me.

So what is this quinoa (keen-wah) everyone is talking about all of a sudden.

Quinoa is a fantastic wheat-free alternative to similar starchy grains such as bulgur wheat, couscous and rice. Low in saturated fat, but gives you a nice chunk of carbohydrates. It contains lots of good things; iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, and fibre. In addition to all this it is one of the most protein rich foods we can eat, and contains almost twice as much fibre as its counterparts.

What to do with this amazing superfood? 

One mistake I used to make when cooking, pre-healthy me, was using thick creamy sauces to flavour basically everything. Pasta sauces were out of jars, and even if they were homemade I would use a tin of pre-prepared tomatoes which were full of sugar and preservatives.

It really is so simple to flavour your quinoa with vegetables that will keep your diet exciting. Simply cook up your quinoa, and in a pan pop some prepared vegetables cooked in a little coconut oil, add your quinoa and hey presto!

My favourite quinoa recipe

  • 70g mushrooms
  • 50g red onion
  • 100g tomatoes
  • 50g sweet yellow pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • pinch salt
  • pinch paprika
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1tsp coconut oil
  1. Melt the coconut oil in the pan
  2. Chop up all ingredients as finely as is desired, I like to keep my peppers and tomatoes a bit chunky
  3. Add red onions and mushrooms to the pan and allow to soften for approx 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the chopped tomatoes and yellow pepper to the pan.
  5. Leave to soften for 5 minutes and then add finely chopped garlic and the seasoning.
  6. Add your cooked quinoa to the hot pan so that it can absorb all the moisture.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

Usually I add between 100-125g of quinoa to my vegetables, and serve with either a grilled chicken breast, steak with the fat removed, or white fish.

Go on give quinoa a go, I defy you not to love it!

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