Quinoa Recipe & Nutrition | Precision Nutrition's Encyclopedia of Food

Quinoa

Quinoa

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At a Glance

Quinoa is a high-protein crop that is cooked and eaten like a grain. It looks like a small, curled cereal grain and has a mild, slightly nutty flavor. Quinoa is gluten-free. It is also an excellent protein source: it contains all 9 essential amino acids required of a complete protein. In addition, it offers iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E. For all these reasons it is sometimes called a “superfood.” You can cook quinoa in a similar way to rice, though the cooking time is shorter - about 10 or 12 minutes. Once cooked, quinoa can be eaten as a side dish, added to a salad, used in baking, or incorporated into other dishes such as veggie burgers.

Overview

Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wah,” is a high-protein crop which is cooked and eaten like a grain, though technically it’s not (it’s actually more closely related to beets and spinach).

Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia, where it continues to be grown as a staple food.

It has become increasingly popular in the US and Canada, and across Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia, where it is not typically grown.

Identification

Quinoa looks like a small, curled cereal grain. It comes in a range of colours – most commonly golden tan, but sometimes red or black.

Nutrition Info

1 cup of uncooked quinoa contains about 626 calories, 24.0g of protein, 10.3g of fat, 109.1g of carbohydrates, and 11.9g of fiber.

Quinoa is gluten-free. It is also an excellent protein source: it contains all 9 essential amino acids required of a complete protein. In addition, it offers iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E. For all these reasons it is often called a “superfood.”

Selection

You may find quinoa in natural food stores, well-stocked supermarkets, and bulk stores. If buying packaged quinoa, check the expiry date for freshness.

Storage

Store quinoa in a sealed container or bag and keep it in a cool, dark place, like a pantry. When stored properly, uncooked quinoa is good for 2-3 years.

Once cooked, quinoa should be stored in the fridge and is good for 6-7 days. You can also freeze cooked quinoa, in which case, it will last for 8-12 months.

Preparation

As a first step, it is important to rinse the quinoa well. This removes the coating of saponin, a bitter, soapy-tasting substance that protects the plants from insects. While typically removed in processing, a rinse is important to remove any remaining coating.

You can cook quinoa as you would rice: use a 2:1 liquid-to-grain ratio. Bring water to a boil (tip: for better flavor, use chicken or vegetable stock in place of water). Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed.

Note: the cooking time for quinoa is shorter than rice or other grains. It typically cooks for 10 – 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Once cooked, quinoa can be eaten as a warm side dish, cooled and added to a salad, or incorporated into other dishes such as veggie burgers or meatloaf.

Recipe: EXTRA-GREEN TABOULEH

Quinoa

This is a gluten-free, extra-green version of a classic tabouleh salad. Quinoa replaces the traditional cracked bulgar, and finely chopped kale is added to a flavorful medley of fresh herbs and vegetables to create a delicious, satisfying salad.

Ingredients

quinoa, cooked
2 cups
raw kale, coarse stems removed, leaves finely chopped
2 cups
parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 cups
cucumber, cut into small pieces
2 cups
tomatoes, cut into small pieces
1.5 cups
mint leaves, finely chopped
1 cup
red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup
lemon, juiced
1
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup
garlic, finely minced
2 cloves
sea salt
1/2 tsp

Directions

Prep Time: 30 minutes   Cook Time: 0 minutes   Yield: 4-6 servings

Add cooked quinoa, chopped kale, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, mint, and red onion to a large bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.

Pour lemon juice dressing over quinoa mixture and toss well to combine. Serve immediately. Enjoy! 

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At a Glance

Quinoa is a high-protein crop that is cooked and eaten like a grain. It looks like a small, curled cereal grain and has a mild, slightly nutty flavor. Quinoa is gluten-free. It is also an excellent protein source: it contains all 9 essential amino acids required of a complete protein. In addition, it offers iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E. For all these reasons it is sometimes called a “superfood.” You can cook quinoa in a similar way to rice, though the cooking time is shorter - about 10 or 12 minutes. Once cooked, quinoa can be eaten as a side dish, added to a salad, used in baking, or incorporated into other dishes such as veggie burgers.