Monday, April 18, 2011

Gotta Love Quinoa!

I am SO excited! I recently learned that quinoa (pronounced "keen-wha") is kosher for Passover!

I love Quinoa, the taste, the texture, and most especially the nutritional benefits it provides. It is rich in amino acids, with a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor.

Quinoa was called the "mother grain" by the Incas, although it is not technically a cereal grain like wheat or oats, but has been cultivated and eaten as a cereal for thousands of years by South Americans. Quinoa is the tiny seed of the Chenopodium Quinoa, a leafy plant that is a distant relative of spinach and beets.

It contains all nine essential amino acids and is especially high in lysine, an amino acid that is scarce in most plant foods but is necessary for tissue growth and repair. It is a rich source of calcium as well as magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous, and to top it off, it’s gluten-free, so those who are sensitive to gluten can enjoy it in its whole state or made into flour, pastas, or breads. Quinoa is also a fabulous source of fiber, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin E.

Quinoa can be eaten as a breakfast food with fresh or dried fruit to provide long-lasting energy and help you breeze through your morning. It's especially good with salad, steamed vegetables, beans, olives, nuts, and can be mixed with anything you love. Best of all it is low in fat and calories!

You can see that it has a great nutritional profile, but what I like best about it is that it’s fast, cooks in about a third of the time it takes for brown rice, which makes it possible to throw together a meal at the last minute and still enjoy a hearty, healthy and filling meal.

To the left is a dish I just prepared for tonight's Seder - it's Quinoa mixed with stir-fried onions, zucchini, sweet potato, carrots and red peppers (chopped very small), cooked with Bragg, sesame oil, garlic and seasoning.

There are literally hundreds of amazing recipes on-line and I'm sure you can create some great ones on your own. Just make sure it is colorful and flavorful!

You can find Quinoa in Whole foods and in most any supermarket.

Hope You Enjoy!

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