Quinoa Is A Miracle Food
Article courtesty of Deborah Goldstein, Founder Driven Professionals.
Anyone who knows me, knows that one of my kitchen staples is Quinoa. I eat this “miracle food” about three times a week- at all times of the day!
A recently-rediscovered ancient grain native to South America, quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas,” who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Full of nutritional richness, quinoa (keen-wah) constitutes as a complete protein, with all nine essential amino acids present, and boasts abundant fiber and other nutrients. It’s even said that quinoa lowers the frequency of migraine headaches. All of this, and quinoa is low in calories and low in cost (A portion of organic quinoa costs $.50!).
Here’s how to take advantage of this staple food:
Look for quinoa in your local health food store. I get mine in bulk, but it is also available individually packaged. Quinoa comes in many colors. Most common is white, but be sure to check out red quinoa, as I find it nuttier in flavor. Quinoa is also sold as flour. While it is a gluten-free product, it is so high in protein that the recommendation is that it be mixed with flour in order to avoid a gummy, heavy result.
You can prepare this grain as a cold salad, a hot side dish or as a stuffing. It is also gluten free, low in calories, high in fiber and constitutes as a full protein.
Below is my favorite quinoa recipe.
- 1 c. quinoa
- 2 cups cucumber- about 2/3 conventional or 2 small Kirby cucumbers, seeded and cubed
- 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 Tbsp white wine or tarragon vinegar
- lemon juice, from 1 lemon
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup loosely packed dill, chopped
- 2 Tbsp roasted peppers, chopped
- 12 pitted black olives, halved
- 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed
- lemon zest, from 1 lemon
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- pepper to taste
- 1 -2 Tbsp olive oil
Add 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups boiling water. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Let sit five minutes. Fluff with fork and let cool.
Combine cucumbers with ½ tsp salt. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add vinegar, lemon juice, and dill. Add peppers, olives, lemon zest, capers, 1 Tbsp olive oil, pepper and ½ tsp salt. Add quinoa, stir well. Right before serving, stir in olive oil to taste.
Deborah Goldstein is a successful restauranteur and founder of the Women’s Advancement Compact, a community composed to serve NYC professionals sharing the common goal of career advancement, while integrating family life and personal development.