Quinoa: The High-Protein Superfood

The common concern most people have when they’re trying to eat less meat and more fruits, veggies, whole-grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes is whether or not they’ll get enough protein in their diet.  Well, I’m here to break the myth that you can’t get enough protein in your diet unless you eat meat.  And one of the healthiest ways to do so is by eating quinoa (pronounced keen-wah).

 

Quinoa has been widely regarded as a grain, but technically it is the seed of the chenopodium plant that is a relative to beets, spinach and Swiss chard.

 

What makes quinoa such a “superfood” is the protein content of this little seed.  Talk about a powerhouse of nutrition, it’s the QUALITY of protein that makes it unique and different from all the other nuts and seeds.  It has the same quality protein as that of milk or even meat.  That’s because quinoa provides all eight (8) essential amino acids, just like milk and meat, that the body cannot provide on its own.  Other important nutrients it provides are manganese, magnesium, calcium, fiber, riboflavin, copper, and potassium.

 

And here’s another added benefit:  Quinoa is not only power-packed with quality protein and nutrients, but it’s a great alternative for those who are allergic to wheat.  Yep, quinoa is gluten-free!

 

So by now I bet you’re curious about how to prepare this little seed, right?  Well it’s super-easy and can be prepared and ready to eat in 15 mins or less!  What animal protein can you prepare and have ready to eat in that short amount of time? ;-)

Here’s a simple & delicious recipe to give a try:

 

Quinoa Curry

Protein-rich quinoa, a South American grain, does double duty here, thickening the curry and replacing the white rice that’s usually served alongside.

Ingredient List

Serves 4

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. whole fennel seeds (omit if you can’t find it)
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds (powder works just as good!)
  • 4 tsp. mild curry powder
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lb.), trimmed and cut into small florets (frozen works well, too!)
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add quinoa, and cook, uncovered, 11 to 14 minutes, or until grain is tender but still slightly crunchy. Place peas in colander. Drain quinoa over peas, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add fennel and cumin seeds, and toast 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Stir in curry powder, and toast 15 seconds. Stir in broth and turmeric, and bring to a boil. Add cauliflower, cover, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 4 minutes, or until florets are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir 2 Tbs. broth from cauliflower mixture into yogurt in small bowl. Add yogurt mixture to cauliflower. Fold in quinoa, peas, cashews and cilantro. Season with salt. Serve with mango chutney, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Per SERVING: Calories: 365, Protein: 13g, Total fat: 15g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbs: 49g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 606mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugars: 6g

Adapted from:  www.VegetarianTimes.com

 

Are you ready to learn more about how to live & eat healthy, even when you feel you don’t have the time or the “extra money” to do so?  Do you often find yourself grabbing for those comfort foods in times of stress and despair?  Contact me for a complimentary Health & Wellness Acceleration Call today so we can get you on a better path that leads to becoming healthy & whole!

 

 

4 Responses to Quinoa: The High-Protein Superfood

  • LaVondilyn says:

    I’ve always wondered what quinoa was – I thought it was a grain! I’ve seen quinoa salads in specialty store – and they looked tasty – but I’ve never tried them. Now, I think I will try a few recipes at home… Thanks for sharing!

  • Christine says:

    Hey there LaVondilyn! Quinoa is regarded as a grain, but yep, it’s technically a seed. Kind of like the whole wheat kernel–it’s a grain, but you can plant that little kernel as a seed to produce the wheat grain plant. When you plant the quinoa seed, it becomes a plant that’s akin to beets, spinach and Swiss chard. So yes, now you have the green light to give quinoa a try. I know you have a few recipes! :-)

  • Mo says:

    OOOOH, Christine, this looks MORSELICIOUS!!!
    Thank you for sharing!

  • Christine says:

    You’re very welcome Maura! :-)

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