Quinoa (aka “Best Grain Ever!”)

July 6, 2010 at 7:29 pm 4 comments

For a snack this afternoon, I had some very poorly photographed Coconut Banana Cherry bread.  Thankfully, poor photographs do not equal poor flavour.

The white chunks are either banana or solidified coconut butter.  Delicious either way!

I also had a peach but it went unphotographed.  It happens.

If you’ve been reading food blogs for very long, by now you’ve heard mention of quinoa.  I will tell you right now that this funny looking word can easily change your life.  Let me show you how.

First things first:  It’s pronounced Keen-Wa.  Funky, right?  Kind of exotic?

Wait, it gets even better!

The next important thing to mention about quinoa is that it is a complete protein.  This is when the angels start singing and the heavenly clouds part, because if there is a phrase that a vegan/vegetarian loves to hear it is “complete source of protein”! In terms of grains, it is the odd man out in that it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids unlike almost any other grain.  It is 12-18% protein, is a good source of fibre, and is gluten-free.

Oh yeah, baby.

Luckily, quinoa isn’t just a funky-named, healthy grain eaten by hippies on communes.  It actually tastes good!  When cooked, it is light and fluffy in texture and nutty in flavour (and if there is one thing you know about me, it’s that I like nuts!)

It’s also incredibly versatile.  It can stand in the place of pasta, rice, or other grains.  Made a stirfry?  Put it in quinoa!  Have some of Grandma Ciccone’s homemade tomato sauce leftover from Sunday dinner?  Dump that tasty stuff onto quinoa.  Just roasted a ton of vegetables but need a grain and some protein for your meal?  Quinoa can help a sister out!

What I am getting at here is that I am a huge fan of quinoa.  Subtlety is not my strong point.

After the DISASTER that was my attempt at Protein Pancakes for dinner last night, I knew I wanted a fail-safe meal.  I have to keep a husband, two cats, and a fetus happy, right?  I needed a dinner that would impress!  Impress AND be frugal!  That is my modus operandi and tonight I was determined to accomplish it.

Enter:  Quinoa and Beans!

This meal should be the poster child of this blog.  It is so cheap to make and very healthy. Done and…done!

Serves 4 (or 2.5 pregnant ladies)

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1.  Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes or until soft.

2.  Add quinoa and broth to the saucepan as well as cumin, cayenne pepper, and ground black pepper.  Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed by the quinoa.

3.  Stir frozen corn into the saucepan and cook for 5 more minutes.  Mix in the black beans and then serve!

I am totally loaded down with organic quinoa right now so I need to find more quinoa recipes.  Maybe I should experiment with a weekly quinoa recipe?  Ooh, potential blogging fun! 🙂

For dessert, I had some freshly diced pineapple…

And a Chocolate Cherry Bomb!  I have mastered my ideal recipe.  For two:

  • 2 cups of almond milk
  • 1.5 sliced frozen bananas
  • 3/4 cup pitted, frozen cherries
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • Topped with cacao nibs

I love topping things with cacao nibs.

Wine glasses make everything fancier

Well, it is time to go spend quality time with my husband by forcing him against his will to watch Coco Avant Chanel with me.  Moooohahahahaha.


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Nutty day Sugar Crisp Reinvented

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What happens when you love to eat healthy (and some unhealthy!) food, love to live frugally, and love to write? You start a food blog, of course. Of course!

Eating well and living frugally does not always come easy, but Lord help me, I am trying! This blog will detail my endeavor to live the best life possible. This will include pictures of my cats, odes to almond butter, and the general miscellany that makes up my life. Enjoy!

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