Quinoa, Inca Gold
In keeping with the gluten-free theme from last week, I want to share some tidbits of information a wonderful food, quinoa (keenwa). Quinoa is actually the seed from a plant related to the pigweed family.
Although Quinoa appears to be the latest and greatest ‘grain’ on the market, in fact it is a very ancient grain. Five to Seven thousand years ago the Incas enjoyed it’s versatility and ease of preparation.
The edible part of the plant is the seed. The shell of the seed is coated with saponin, which is bitter tasting, (this serves as a deterrent to predators such as birds). The seed is a nutrient dense super food. Quinoa is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. What sets it apart from other grains is the complete amino acid chain, which makes it a complete protein. This is an excellent choice for a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Quinoa is quick to cook, and is easily incorporated into almost any recipe. Quinoa is so adaptable, I love that it can be used a cooked breakfast cereal, a main salad ingredient, a casserole staple, and I always add it to my soups for an extra serving of protein. It is a wonderful substitute for rice or couscous. When pressed for time, Taryn Strong of Anahata Moon Yoga serves quinoa topped with salsa or organic pasta sauce a quick and easy meal, a remarkable step up from the old stand by of packaged macaroni dinners.
Quinoa is available commercially in many forms, cold cereal, baking flour, crackers, and pasta. Taryn Strong of Anahata Yoga serves a quick meal of quinoa topped with organic salsa or pasta sauce. This a remarkable step up from the old stand by, packaged macaroni dinners.
I have chosen a recipe to share with you that is delicious, quick, easy and, of course, gluten-free.
I am so happy to prepare this recipe today because I am using kale and herbs from my patio garden. This is always such a reward!
Yummy Kale Quinoa Salad
(This is a great hit and conversation starter at potlucks)
1 c organic Quinoa, uncooked
2 c pure water
1 can rinsed and drained organic black beans (or whatever beans are in your pantry)
Generous amount of fresh kale, remove stalks and tear into smallish pieces
Small bunch parsley, finely chopped
Small handful of fresh organic chives
1 organic lemon, washed
1/3 c extra virgin organic olive oil
1 tsp gluten-free organic tamari sauce
garlic clove peeled and slied into 4 pieces
generous grinding of fresh black pepper
I play a bit with my dressings to get just the right combination of lemon with olive oil. If it is too lemony, add more oil
Soak quinoa in fresh water for 5 minutes or so, then rinse well to remove the natural pesticide coating on the exterior. Place rinsed quinoa in pot with water. Cook as you would rice, bring to boil, then simmer with lid on for 10-15 minutes, until water is absorbed. The grains will separate a bit and look like little round circles. Fluff lightly with a fork. Place in glass container and chill in fridge.
When cool, lightly combine all other ingredients with the quinoa.
Remove the garlic clove (if you wish) and add dressing to the salad. Toss lightly to coat the ingredients.
Chill if needed.
This is a great addition to any picnic or lunchbox.
Play with this, you can add to your heart’s content, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, peppers, and any bean medley you wish.
Sit down…take 3 breaths…appreciate…and now you are ready to savor your quinoa salad.
Mmmmmm Inca Gold…
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