I’ve had a box of quinoa sitting in my pantry for a few months now because I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it.
This week I decided it was time to give it a try.
Quinoa has a very grainy, kind of Earthy taste. It also packs quite the nutritional punch. It’s gluten free and contains tons of protein.
In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%-18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.
I decided to try a quinoa salad.
I prepared the grain with water according to the instructions on the package. It only took about 10 or 15 minutes.
While the quinoa was cooking, I chopped three fresh red peppers from the farmer’s market and combine them in a big bowl with spinach and chickpeas.
I spooned a generous helping of quinoa over the veggies.
What really made this meal was the olive oil and balsamic vinegar I drizzled on top of everything.
For my birthday two of my friends bought me an EOO and vinegar set from Williams & Sonoma.
Hands down it this was the best balsamic vinegar I’d ever tasted.
I loved adding the quinoa to the salad. It added a nice extra crunch and packed in some extra protein. It was a delicious change of pace from my regular salads.
What’s your favorite quinoa recipe? I want to learn what else I can do with this grain!