Having just recently got into quinoa, I wanted to share my experiences on a nutritional and taste level, with the hope it may become a part of your lunchtime or evening meals. Many have heard of it, few have tasted it and even less have cooked it.
So what is quiona (pronounced Keen-wah)? Basically it is a grain unlike other grains. It is a great anti-ageing food with amazing health benefits. Not only does it contain twice the protein of regular cereal grains, it also has less carbohydrate, has healthy fats, fibre, phosphorus, calcium and is high in iron. It is the most nutritious of all grains and generally is quite unknown.
Two important minerals found in quiona are manganese and copper – these work together as an antioxidant which is great news for our skin, hair and nails! What’s more, it contains no gluten so brilliant for anyone on a gluten free diet and it is a complete protein which means it contains all the essential amino acid which your body needs to repair damage generated through stress, pollution and ageing. A perfect food!
So give us a recipe I hear you all screaming: my favourite is one I made up and is basically a Greek salad quinoa style. The key tip with the grain is the basic cooking which is roughly a ratio of ½ a mug of quinoa to 1 mug of water (or preferably stock) and cook with a lid on top for roughly 15 minutes.
Cooked it looks similar to couscous and just let it cool down. Once cooled, in a separate bowl pop in a handful of olives, quartered cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber cut up small, crumbled feta, ½ a red or green pepper, fresh mint, finally dress with olive oil and ½ a fresh lemon. Season to taste and away you go! A great lunch for all the family and definitely something which can be taken into work as a brilliant and nutritious lunchtime dish.
Let me know how you get on or if you’ve any other quinoa recipes do share!
By Andrea Murray of Total Nutrition, BSc (Hons) Nutrition Therapy