*Caution, affiliate links ahead…Don’t worry, I’ll use the money for something practical, like wine…. or a pony!
Over the last few months I have developed a love affair with another super food. Quinoa and I have been hot and heavy in the kitchen for a few weeks now as I discover all the delicious ways that I can use it in my everyday cooking. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be getting you excited about it as well as I share all my new creations.
Quinoa has some amazing health and nutritional benefits that can’t be ignored:
1. Nutrient dense- Quinoa is a great source of fiber (more so than most whole grains), protein, magnesium, folate and iron.
2. Gluten free- Since quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain, it is safe to eat for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
3. Low glycemic index- I’m not going to get into the whole scientific explanation of glycemic index here (you can read this great article for more info about it), but with a diabetic daughter I watch the glycemic index of foods very closely, food with a high glycemic index will spike blood sugars quickly, so finding foods with a low glycemic index is crucial to our family. (read the article to find out why it should be crucial to your family as well)
4. High in antioxidants- In a study of 10 foods… 5 cereals, 3 pseudocereals and 2 legumes, quinoa had the highest antioxidant content of all 10. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and are believed to help fight aging and many diseases.
5. Weight loss friendly- because of it’s high fiber, protein and low glycemic index, it is an ideal food for weight loss and increasing metabolic health. A small amount of quinoa will satisfy your nutritional needs and leave you feeling full for a long time after you eat it, leading to less in between meal snacking.
I’m starting off simple to ease you into the amazingness that is quinoa (don’t want to blow you away all at once) with my delectable Spanish Quinoa that will put all other spanish side dishes to shame.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 packet taco seasoning or 2 tablespoons of your favorite homemade taco seasoning, this one from Fresh Family Meals is my favorite.
- Rinse quinoa with cold water in a mesh strainer for at least a minute. (This is a very important step, quinoa has an unpleasant taste if it’s not rinsed thoroughly, it might just turn you off this super food and neither one of us wants that).
- After it has been rinsed well, saute the garlic, quinoa and onions over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, tomato sauce, taco seasoning and tomatoes to the pot.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cover and remove from heat, let stand for an additional 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.
This makes an amazing and healthy side dish for any mexican dish you can think of and my family loves it, even the picky kids! Hope y’all enjoy it as much as we do 🙂
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