A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life
Meghan found a photo on Pinterest for a quinoa salad. Unfortunately, the avocados that I found at the store were not ripe enough to use, but I was able to create a delicious dinner using an ingredient that many people do not find in their pantry.
Quinoa is a gluten-free grain-like crop grown in the Andean regions of South America. Tonight I decided to compare quinoa to the brown rice that was also in my pantry. Quinoa contains about twice as much fat (2.5g to 1g per 1/4 cup serving) , it still contains no trans fats. It contains 2x as much fiber, 3x the protein and 20% your daily suggested intake of iron. And Meghan says it even tastes better than brown rice.
Of course, everything must come at a cost. The increased popularity of quinoa has caused an increase in price (check out this article, I was blown away that quinoa costs more than chicken in Lima, Peru: http://www.alternet.org/food/can-healthy-food-eaters-stomach-uncomfortable-truth-about-quinoa). This increase has forced local populations, the people who grow the quinoa, to search for cheaper, and less healthier, alternatives such as imported junk food. If you are going to add quinoa to your diet, or you are already a fan, make sure you make the effort to include additional Andean crops into your diet, such as Peruvian beans, Lima beans, oregano, paprika and purple potatoes.
Here is tonight’s dinner, I think it must have been a success.
In a pot, combine the stock and quinoa, season with salt and add zest of 1/2 a lemon. Bring to a rapid boil, turn down to a simmer and cover. Allow quinoa to cook for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa has become slightly sprouted.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
We served the salad over a portobello mushroom seasoned with Herbs de Provence.