I can’t contain it. I am so excited to write this post. People always talk about how you should view food as fuel rather than a treat or reward. I don’t understand why we can’t do both. There are so many amazingly nutritious and delicious foods out there. It is just a matter of figuring out how to prepare it!
I recently started a love affair with quinoa. I was scared at first. I wouldn’t find it in the grocery store and was too afraid to ask where it was because I had no clue how to pronounce it. So let me help you with that… keen-wa. Easy enough, right? I was so excited and inspired to write this post to share with you when I was reading the April issue of Self magazine. Among the top 10 super foods, quinoa was featured and a bunch of recipes followed. I am pretty excited to try some of them out and I am going to share them with you in just a moment.
But first, what is quinoa and why should we eat it? Quinoa is a whole grain, actually more of a seed. A lot of people like to use in in place of rice and is actually pretty similar to prepare. It is gluten and wheat free, packed with protein, low on the glycemic index and full of fiber. I honestly don’t think I need to explain why you need to eat it after listing all of that, right?
Now to share the recipes from Self…
Banana Nut Pancakes
Mix together 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup milk (1%, skim, or almond are good!), 1 tsp brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp vanilla. Add in 1/4 sliced banana. Spray pan with non-stick spray and pour in batter. Cook pancakes like usual. Top with 2 tbsp non-fat Greek yogurt, another 1/4 sliced banana, 2 tbsp chopped walnuts and 1 tsp maple syrup.
This one is really easy… 1/2 cup cooked quinoa and top it with 2 tbsp marinara (preferably organic!) and 2 tsp grated Parmesan. Done!
Chicken and Quinoa Tossed Salad
In a bowl, toss 2/3 cup cooked quinoa with 1/4 cup baby spinach and 1/4 cup shredded carrots. Top with 3 oz chopped, grilled chicken, 2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese, 1 tbsp dried cranberries, 1 tbsp chopped walnuts and drizzle with 1 tsp balsamic vinegar and 1/2 tsp olive oil. Sounds great for a warm, spring day, doesn’t it?
Blueberry Maple Hot Cereal
Like oatmeal but are getting tired of it? Here’s a great alternative! Combine 3/4 cup cooked quinoa, 2/3 cup milk (again, 1%, skim or almond are good!), 1/4 tsp cinnamon in a microwave safe bowl. Cook until hot, about 90 seconds and top with 1/2 cup blueberries 1 tbsp chopped walnuts and 1 tsp maple syrup.
Fried Egg over Spinach Quinoa
Cook 1 cup spinach with 1/2 cooked quinoa in a small skillet until spinach wilts. Transfer onto plate. Fry 1 egg in pan with non-stick spray and put cooked egg on spinach/quinoa mixture. Serve with 1 grapefruit or other fruit of your choice!
Quinoa-Edamame Salad with Ginger Dressing
Toss together 1 cup cooked quinoa, 2/3 cup shelled, cooked edamame, 1/4 cup shredded carrots, and 1/4 chopped cucumber. In another bowl, mix 2 tsp toasted sesame oil, 1 tsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce, 1/2 tsp grated ginger, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Toss together and enjoy!
That last one is the most intriguing to me. I can’t wait to try it!!
If you want to read more about the super foods or recipes listed in Self, just click here.