Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is known for being a high protein grain and containing a balanced set of essential amino acids making quinoa a complete protein! Quinoa is a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Another interesting fact, Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.
Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked and it’s mild, slightly nutty flavor is a great alternative to rice or potatoes. Prior to cooking, it’s important to rinse the quinoa under ample water. I recommend placing a coffee filter in a colander and putting the quinoa in the coffee filter. Rinse well and cook according to the recipe. Quinoa is cooked similar to rice (1:2 ratio, quinoa to liquid) and can been prepared in a rice cooker. When cooked, quinoa is translucent and the outer germ ring will be visible.
I love trying new ways to serve quinoa. Quinoa can be used as a side dish, the main fare or tossed in soups or salads. I tend to make a large amount early in the week and toss it onto everything! This recipe is a basic one that complements fish, poultry, and salad or can be served all on its own.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup reduced fat feta cheese
Salt to taste
Bring 2 cups of chicken stock to a boil. Rinse quinoa well and add in to chicken stock. Bring to a boil again, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes (until all liquid is absorbed). Allow to cool to room temperature and fluff up quinoa with a fork. Once cooled add pine nuts, cranberries and feta. Toss well and salt to taste if desired. Garnish with flat leaf parsley.
Makes 6 (1/2 cup) portions
160 calories, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 1g mono fat, 2mg chol, 140 mg sodium, 2.5g fiber, 7g protein