Once you get the pronunciation down (who doesn’t love that commercial where the bewildered guy butchers the word?!) you can get into the nutritional breakdown of this ancient Incan grain. Here’s why this grain is a powerhouse and a staple in my diet.
- ¼ cup has 5 grams of protein (almost as much as an egg) and is a COMPLETE protein, meaning it contains all nine essential nutrients.
- ¼ cup has 4 grams of fiber (more than a lot of grains) to help digestion, feeling full for longer and disease prevention
- Quinoa contains many vitamins and minerals including iron (carries oxygen to cells and keeps red blood cells healthy), magnesium (regulates blood pressure and keeps bones strong), riboflavin (helps release energy from fat, carbs and protein during metabolism), and many more.
So what do you do with this tiny, hard grain? The answer is a ton of things! To get you started off with a super easy quinoa recipe, try my Black Bean Quinoa Salad. Makes 4 servings.
Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 15 oz. can Organic black beans, rinsed and drained (you can substitute with kidney beans or chick peas)
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced
- 3-5 green onions, sliced
- 2 tsp minced garlic (more to taste)
- 2 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 8 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1-2 tsp spicy mustard
- Optional: dash of smoked paprika or crushed red pepper flakes
Cook the quinoa in water or broth as directed. In a large bowl, combine black beans through mustard and mix thoroughly. Add quinoa to the bean mixture, thorougly mix and enjoy!
- Calories: 358
- Fat: 8g
- Protein: 14g
- Carbohydrate: 55g
- Fiber: 14.5g