Quinoa is a main staple in my diet since I believe it to be the healthiest grain available to me. It contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein and is also a good source of calcium, dietary fiber, iron and more. Due to its health benefits and unique taste, I incorporate quinoa into breakfast, lunch or dinner. However, I never eat it for more than one meal per day since I have trouble digesting it if I eat too much of it in a short period of time. Two of my favorite meals with the super grain are Breakfast Quinoa and Black Bean Quinoa Bowl.
½ cup quinoa (I prefer red quinoa)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup nuts (pecans or walnuts)
¼ cup fresh or dried fruit (strawberries, apples, cranberries, raspberries, whatever you have!)
Rinse the quinoa in a [very] small strainer and add with the almond milk in a small pot over high heat. Once the milk and quinoa have reached a boil, lower the temperature to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prep the remaining 4 ingredients by rinsing and cutting fresh fruit, chopping or breaking up nuts, and measuring everything. Once the quinoa is cooked, add the prepped toppings, stir, and serve.
Black Bean Quinoa Bowl
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 cups water
1 medium bell pepper (any color will do!)
½ cup cherry tomatoes
1 can black beans
¼ cup cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse quinoa in a small strainer and combine with the 2 cups water in a small pot. Once the quinoa and water are to a boil, lower the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, prep the remainder of the ingredients and place in a large bowl. Wash and dice the pepper. Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Rinse the avocado and cut it in cubes. Rinse the cilantro, dry, roll, and chop. Using the strainer that strained the quinoa, rinse the beans. Not only does rinsing the beans reduce sodium, it reduces gas-forming oligosaccharides as well! Place the black beans and chopped veggies in the large bowl and add juice from one lime. Once the quinoa is done cooking, add to the large bowl, stir, and serve.
Yields 3-4 servings as main meal, 6 as side dish
I love making this dish early in the week so I can use it for meals throughout the remainder of the week.
Suggestions for leftovers:
Served warm over sautéed onions and kale
Packed as a lunch- this dish is great cold or warm
Stuffed and baked in a bell pepper with melted goat cheese on top