Monday, October 22, 2012

Experimenting with Grains: Quinoa

I have been meaning to add more grains to my diet to try to keep a better balance. 

About three months ago, I cut out eating my usual daily portion of meat and substituted it with other things like beans and vegetables. I actually love vegetables so it has not been such a hard thing to maintain. But lately have found it harder to keep interest in my new lifestyle because the variety comes rarely. While meeting with my nutritionist one day, she suggested I add a grain known as quinoa to the mix.

I had never heard of quinoa before but after my nutritionist talked to me about it, I came across it on Pinterest which had a plethora of different links to recipes and nice looking dishes made with the grain. I put it in my plan to one day try it and for the first time today, I did.

I am used to having corn meal but wanted to try something a little different. Actually, corn meal has been one of my favorite foods since I was a kid. The difference between corn meal and quinoa is that the latter is an organic food and is made with whole grains. Much healthier in other words. I also hear that quinoa is a superfood. I have to say, I enjoyed the taste more than I expected to and made a nice dish with it.

Here is the recipe I tried

Quinoa and Black Bean medley
Serving Size 5
157 calories per serving
Cooking time: 45 minutes – 1 hr
Nature's Promise - Black Beans 1 can
Green Giant - Whole Kernel Sweet Corn 1 can
Natural Earth Products - Organic quinoa whole grain 3 1/3 cup
Shoprite - Frozen Chopped Kale, 1/3 cup
Cherry Tomatoes, 1/2 cup
Olive Oil - Extra Virgin, 2 Tablespoons
Real Lemon - 100% Lemon Juice (Corrected), 2 tsp.
Salt, 3 tsp
Water 2 cups

Fill a medium pot with water and add olive oil, black beans and salt over a medium fire. Add corn, kale and tomatoes. Bring water to boil and add quinoa.  Add lemon juice and stir. Leave over medium fire until water dries and quinoa thickens. Lower fire and cover pot and let cook for another 15 minutes. Best served hot.
I think I have found a new favorite food because I can use it to prepare the same quality meals and also different ones with a great outcome.  

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