Monday, October 1, 2012

Nutty Quinoa (Recipe, pics)

Originally I found this recipe on dLife, but it was made with brown rice.  It was very good that way, and I'm sure I will make it again that way, but I decided to try it this time with quinoa instead.  Quinoa is awesome.  It's got a very plain flavor by itself, in my opinion, and it takes on the flavors of the things you cook it with.  For example, use chicken broth instead of water for a more flavorful dish.  You can use sweet ingredients, like apples and cinnamon, for a breakfast quinoa, too.  And it's very healthy.  It's got slightly more fat than brown rice, but it edges out brown rice in terms of fiber and protein.  Quinoa, a seed rather than a grain, has all essential amino acids in it for complete protein, whereas brown rice does not.  Both are good to have in your diet, but if you are vegetarian or vegan, quinoa is a good source to get complete proteins.

It's very easy to prepare.  Use 1 part quinoa to 1.5 parts liquid.  Put them both in a cold pot, bring to a boil and cover.  Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 more minutes.  Super easy--nothing to it.  Quinoa will expand about 3 times during the cooking process.  This recipe uses 1 1/2 C quinoa and makes about 8 servings of 1/2 C each.  Also, I highly recommend buying your quinoa from the bulk bins at your local healthy food store like Sprouts.  It is a fraction of the cost of the prepackaged stuff.

Here's what you need:
Oops.  I didn't put the chicken broth, oil and red pepper flakes in the photo.  Where was my head at? :)
1 1/2 C quinoa
2 1/4 C chicken broth
2 C rough chopped broccoli slaw
4 Tbsp slivered almonds
1 tsp red pepper flakes (omit if you don't like a kick)
3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
1 Tbsp dried parsley

1.  In a pot heat oil over medium high.  Add in broccoli slaw and cook 2 minutes.
2.  Add almonds, sunflower seeds and red pepper flakes and cook 2 minutes.  Put into a bowl and set aside.

3.  Put quinoa and broth in the pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
4.  Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, covered.
5.  Take off lid, add back in the broccoli and nuts, stir, cover it back up and let sit (off the heat) for another 5 minutes.
6.  Stir in parsley flakes.
7.  Serve.

btw, you can always click on the photos for a larger view, too.

This is a very filling little side dish that is packed with nuttiness and great flavors.  I like the red pepper flakes, but my daughter thinks it's too spicy.  It's got great crunch to it.  I served it tonight with Chicken a la King over toast and it made a very healthy, protein rich dinner.

The nutritional info for a 1/2 C serving is:  207.7 calories, 7.9g fat, 1.4g saturated fat, 2.1g polyunsaturated fat, 1.5g monounsaturated fat, 183mg sodium, 235.9mg potassium, 24.9g carbs, 2.8g fiber, 7g protein.(5 Points Plus)

Healthfully yours,
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