While last week I was on a bit of a kale kick, this week it’s all about quinoa. I usually turn to quinoa when I’m out of groceries and am scavenging my cabinets for anything edible (see: all of last week.) Beans? Box of quinoa? A veggie lying around? Hello, dinner. Of course, you can get pretty fancy when it comes to quinoa, but my favorite thing about it is that it’s incredibly versatile and I can eat it with practically anything.
Why Should I Be Eating Quinoa?
You mean, aside from me telling you that you should, damnit!? I kid. But seriously…you should be. Aside from it going great with anything and everything, it’s packed with protein (and in fact, is considered a complete protein!) It’s also filled with calcium, iron, lysine, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorous, is a good source of Vitamin E, B Vitamins and dietary fiber! Phew, that was exhausting. But, I’m not done, peeps. It’s also gluten free, and the best part is that it only takes about 10 minutes to make.
Okay, I get it. It’s “good” for you, or whatever, but what do I DO with it?
The question should be more like what CAN’T you do with this. Breakfast, lunch or dinner – you can make it for any meal. First, where to find it? You can pick up quinoa at any health food store (or even your local grocery store) but I usually get mine at either Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Once purchased, my technique lately has been very simple: cook, add anything I can find, eat.
To cook: first, be sure to rinse it. Then place one cup of quinoa into a saucepan with two cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and let cook (don’t touch it!) for about 12-15 minutes. Remove cover, fluff with a fork, and voila!
At this point, as I mentioned, I usually chop up a bunch of different veggies, some beans, add in some soy sauce, maybe a few herbs, salt, pepper and there you have it. Dinner.
But of course, there are a ton of other different ways you could prepare it. Here is some inspiration:
Quinoa Primavera with Peas and Asparagus – omit the chicken!
Tempeh and Quinoa Veggie Burgers – these look insaaaane.
The rule of thumb I use: anywhere you would use rice, use quinoa instead. Eating rice is like eating sugar (really tasty but nothing too positive – nutritionally speaking – going on with it) so if you can replace it with quinoa, go for it!