I love quinoa and use it often in my recipes. I like the health benefits of this gluten-free, high fiber content, magnesium and iron rich seed which also happens to be one of the most protein rich foods we can eat. The Incas discovered the seed around 4 thousand years ago, which they believed increased the stamina of their warriors. In the last decade, Quinoa has grown in popularity and is considered a “super food!” Quinoa is not a grain. It’s actually a seed that is related to the spinach and beet families. And although I don’t believe it’s a cardinal sin to eat carbs (as seen in my reviews of these restaurants), I do enjoy the rice like feel of quinoa without the heavy feeling of carbohydrate-rich foods.
Quinoa is a great item to have in the pantry- it can be used as a side on its own or, mixed with veggies and proteins. Here is a personal favorite of mine, mixed with a kind of deconstructed ratatouille... enjoy!
2 cups quinoa
2 white or yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 large or 2 small eggplants, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or walnuts
Juice of 1/2-1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons red chili flakes
Salt + Pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Chop veggies in cube like pieces.
Place in baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle veggies with oregano, red chili flakes, salt + pepper.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
While the veggies roast, cook the 2 cups of quinoa in 4 cups of water.
It will cook in approximately 20 minutes.
Stir occasionally and fluff with a fork when done and all the water has evaporated.
In a separate bowl, combine quinoa with veggies.
Add your favorite nut. I especially like sunflower seeds or walnuts in this recipe.
Give the mixture a squeeze of lemon and more salt + pepper to taste.
Voila you’r done! This dish is great on it’s own as a vegetarian option or can be served as side.
Note- I sometimes keep a bit of the roasted veggies aside and make a pita pocket with it the next day. Just add hummus and pickles and you have a totally different dish that’s supper yummy for an instant lunch the next day!