Aug 20, 2014

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Meet Quinoa: Mother Grain of the Inca Civilization

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Quinoa (keen-wa) was once called “the gold of the Incas,” or “mother grain.”  The Inca tribe turned to this ancient grain to increase the stamina of their warriors and believed the grain to be sacred.  I like the Incas also believe Quinoa packs a powerful punch.

The punch our body needs, craves and deserves.  Weeks of working,  family activites and living life to the fullest can leave us feeling a bit drained.  So when I am in need of a boost I turn to Quinoa.

Did you know?

Quinoa contains more high quality protein that any other grain.

The protein quinoa supplies is a called a “complete protein,” which means it provides your body all nine essential amino acids.

Quinoa is high in lysine, which helps is tissue growth and repair.  This grain is also a good source of magnesium and iron.

Quinoa is gluten free, wheat frees and easy to digest.

Not bad for a little grain.

Quinoa is quick, easy to prepare and delicious.  This salad can be eaten warm, cold or mixed with any fruit or vegetable of your choice.

Use the grain as your base to experiment with various flavor combinations for a week of body boosting lunches or serve alongside fish or protein for a weeknight dinner.   Give quinoa a try and you will quickly realize why the Incas our ancestors, held this tiny grain in such high regard.

Quinoa Salad (Serves 4)
By Vianney Rodriguez

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water, vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 bell pepper orange, diced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tbsp for vegetables
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Place quinoa in a large saucepan with 2 cups liquid of your choice and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. For dressing whisk together lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  4. In a skillet over medium high heat add the 2 tbsp of olive oil. Saute bell pepper and onion until tender, about 4 minutes.
  5. The quinoa will be soft and will have absorbed the  liquid.  Set aside until vegetables are cooked or allow to cool to room temperature and place in fridge until ready to use.
  6. To quinoa add  cooked onion, bell pepper, cilantro, edamame, tomatoes and dressing.  Mix to combine.
  7. Will keep in fridge for about 5-7 days.

Quinoa can be found at your local health food store.  Red quinoa can also be substituted. Edamame  or soy beans can be found in the freezer section of your store.

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Vianney Rodriguez

Vianney Rodriguez

Vianney "Bonnie" is a Tejana (Texan) foodie with an eternal love for all things Texas, and is committed to teaching others about her Tex-Mex heritage. On any given day you can find her posting Texas-style recipes or wonderful recipes from Mexico! Check her out at her blog, SweetLifeBake.com!

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Comments

  1. looks so yummy!

  2. I loved it ! que rico !! great pic !

  3. I am a Quinoa fanatic! Thanks for this great recipe!

  4. What a great idea to use quinoa in a salad! This stuff is truly amazing — thanks for sharing some great suggestions of food combos. Yum!

  5. Mmmm se ve rico! Me parece mucho al arroz perla. ;)

  6. Bonnie, I honestly don’t remember if I’ve ever had this. I love grains and will definitely try this! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  7. It looks so delicious! Sadly, I’ve never tried quinoa. But if I ever find some at the market here, I know what I’ll be making. :)

  8. Wow. This looks delicious! And who knew it had such great nutritional value? Thank you for sharing this, Bonnie. I’m excited to try it.

  9. Never heard of Quinoa but it sounds like an amazing ingredient.

  10. oh it’s so easy to cook and to mix up with, I love it. I’ve made like 8 or so different recipes and no two are alike. Great, great health benefits and the texture is so wonderful! Love the spoon shot! If it makes me stronger, I need to be eating it like 3x a day !:)

  11. How delicious and healthy quiona grain is. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  12. Thanks for the recipe. It looks great.

    I have found when I buy quinoa at the wholesale markets, it takes a long time to use it all up. How long does it usually last once the container is open?

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