QUINOA - New Super Food?
Although quinoa (pron Keen-wah) is grain like, it is in fact a seed from the goosefoot (Chenopodium) plant, a crop that is grown for it’s edible seeds. It is closely related to the spinach and beet family.
There are three varieties of this plant that are cultivated each producing red, black or white seeds. White quinoa has a nutty, creamy flavour and is milder in taste than the red and black quinoa which have a crunchier more fibrous texture.
It would seem that quinoa has only just recently appeared on the scene but in fact it has been around a long time claiming the title of ‘Mother of all grains’ and reputed to have increased the stamina of Incan warriors thousands of years ago.
Quinoa is a nutrient dense food which is:
- A superior source of complete protein compared to other grains
- Cholesterol free, low fat and high in fibre
- High in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamins E, A, manganese and also folate
- Full of the B vitamins – especially vitamin B2
- Abundant in antioxidants
- A good way to get the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6
- The best iron source of all grains
- A good source of anti -inflammatory phytonutrients
- Gluten free and an excellent substitute for gluten grains.
Researchers state that this powerhouse seed may be the most complete food which in it’s whole grain form may help with the prevention of conditions such as:
- Insulance resistance.
Quinoa is obtainable in different forms it can be puffed, rolled into flakes or you can buy it whole. Very versatile this seed can be cooked much the same way as rice, served with vegetables, as an accompaniment to legumes or meat, added to salads or even made into porridge for a high protein breakfast.
So for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike looking to add a nutritional boost to their diet a good place to start might well be exploring some of the exciting and delicious quinoa recipes so readily available.
Roasted Pumpkin And Quinoa Salad
- 500 g of Jap Pumpkin cut into 2.5 cm cubes
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin Olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of Moroccan seasoning
- 3/4 cup of quinoa rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of fresh coriander leaves
1. Preheat oven to 200-220degrees Celcius fan forced. Place pumpkin and oil and seasoning in a bowl. Toss and coat . transfer to a baking tray. Roast for 20-25 minutes turning once after 10 minutes. Remove from oven when golden brown.
2. Place quinoa and 1 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan over high heat. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10-12 minutes or until liqid is absorbed.
3. Place quinoa in a heat proof bowl. Add Pumpkin, lemon juice and coriander. Season with salt and pepper. toss gently to combine.
Parsley And Quinoa Salad
- 3/4 cup of Quinoa rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of macademia oil
- 1/3 cup of fresh parsley
- 1 small cucumber cut up into little pieces.
1. Cook the quinoa in a suacepan with 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring it to the boil and then simmer for 10-12 minutes
2. Mix the Lemon juice and Macademia oil
3. Mix the oil mixture to the parsley and cucumber then mix into the cooked quinoa.
Walnut And Goat's Fetta Quinoa Salad
- 1 1/4 cups of quinoa rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of Lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 stalks of celery
- 150 g of Goats fetta
- 1 cup of chopped raw walnuts
- 12 semi dried tomatos
- 1 cup of Chopped parsley
1. Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the quinoa and bring it to the boil in a saucepan. Simmer then for 10-12 minutes.
2. Chop the garlic and celery into fine pieces. Add it to the semidreid tomatos and walnuts and parsley. Pour over the olive oil and lemon juice.
3. Mix all this with the cooked quinoa and then sprinkle with crumbled Goats fetta before serving.