Quinoa is an edible seed that is considered to be a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine of the essential amino acids (in pretty much equal amounts) that the human body needs and does not make itself. The method you use to prepare quinoa, such as boiling or steaming, will not jeopardize the quality of these essential amino acids. In addition quinoa also contains minerals such as zinc, iron, manganese and magnesium.
Quinoa originated in South America in the countries of Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. The seeds are gluten free and easily digested. Available in three colors: red, white or black, quinoa is quick and easy to prepare. Generally, quinoa is prepared with 2 parts water to 1 cup of quinoa. Bring water to a boil, add quinoa, cover and let simmer for approximately 15 minutes, until tender, then drain thoroughly.
When cooked, the flavor has been described as somewhat mild and “nutty.” Quinoa can be used as a substitution for a grain, such as brown rice and can be tossed into smoothies, salads, muffins or just about anything. You can serve it heated, at room temperature or cold. It also serves as an excellent source of healthy fat. And its texture is similar to couscous. Given its versatility and nutrient dense content, quinoa is considered a superfood.
Below is a great recipe for a quinoa side dish that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I do.
Quinoa and Brussel Sprouts adapted from a dish from Pasta Vita, a gourmet take out store near where I live.
- 1 cup cooked red quinoa
- ½ Fresh lemon juice for drizzling
- 4 Tbs Organic extra virgin, first cold-pressed olive oil (recommended because this type of olive oil retains its full nutritional value, its aroma and flavors during processing because no heat or chemical additives were used)
- 1/2 cup chopped, fresh chives
- 1 Tbs Grain mustard
- ½ pound of Roasted Brussel Sprouts halved
Preparation: Toss ingredients in bowl and serve cold or heated to room temperature.