Quinoa is an ancient pseudograin (it is actually a seed) from the highlands of South America. It is full of protein and also contains calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc. This little seed has also been show to have anti-inflammatory effects. Here are 3 delicious ways to enjoy quinoa:
Quinoa Pilaf with pumpkin seeds and cranberries
Enjoy this quinoa pilaf as a side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner. You can make it a complete meal by serving inside half of a roasted acorn squash. Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish.
1. Toast pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, set aside to cool.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onions for 3-5 minutes, until translucent.
3. Add the cranberries and spinach to the skillet and cook until the spinach has wilted (you can add half of the spinach at a time if you skillet is not big enough for 4 cups).
4. Stir in quinoa and heat through. Remove from heat, stir in fresh thyme, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!
Chili-spiced Quinoa Salad
This salad is a great lunch when served over fresh greens. Makes 2 generous servings.
1. Mix the quinoa, black beans, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion and cilantro in a bowl.
2. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad.
3. Mix well to combine and serve. Can be stored 3 days in the fridge.
Quinoa Pesto Caprese
This simple salad is a great side to a bowl of soup or an easy dish to bring to a potluck. Makes 2 servings.
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons pesto sauce
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup cubed fresh mozzarella
1. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.