Sunday, April 29, 2012

Quinoa with sauteed vegetables

Tonight I am beginning my quest towards healthier eating habits and to celebrate the end of "old me" I took the boys to the movies and ate an entire box of milk duds, it will be my last.

I am a carbohydrate addict, put a loaf of fresh bread in front of me and watch it disappear! The same goes for pasta and anything remotely containing sugar, starch and the like.
So while I researched some alternatives to carbs I came across this rather popular grain-like seed called Quinoa (it is pronounced Kee-noah). At first glance it looks much like Bulgar or a large couscous grain, but Quinoa, which originated in South America, is not a grain, in fact, I learned that it is a seed from a plant which is not a cereal nor a grain since not part of the grass family.  Instead as a plant itself, Quinoa is more like beets and spinach.

So what makes Quinoa so special and nutritious? It is protein (18%) and phosphorus (65%) rich. It is also very rich in magnesium and Iron and is gluten-free! Better yet, it is considered a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids. It is the "grain" replacement of choice for people with diabetics. If you want to learn more about Quinoa and its benefits, visit the World's healthiest Foods website.

Here is my recipe for Quinoa and Sauteed Vegetables:


Ingredients for my Quinoa with sauteed vegetables

2 cups of whole Quinoa
2 Zucchini
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 medium size onion
2 garlic cloves
1 can whole corn
flat leaf parsley
fresh mint
1/2 tsp curry powder
dash of Cayenne Pepper
dash of salt
1 tbsp olive oil

Boil 2 cups of Quinoa in water for about 20 minutes, much like you would cook rice. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
Dice the Zucchinis, tomatoes, onion. Mince the garlic and chop the parsley.

prepare to saute the vegetables

 In a large saute pan, add the olive oil and saute the garlic and onions for about 5 minutes.

Add all the vegetables (except the corn), the curry powder, dash of salt and sprinkle with the Cayenne pepper (to taste). Cover for another 5 minutes.

Saute the vegetable mix
 Add the corn and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

Once the vegetables are cooked, leave them in the pan and simply add the Quinoa to the mix. Stir.

Before serving, chop the mint and mix with the vegetable/Quinoa.

This is what Quinoa looks like once it is cooked


This was really good and filling and we both had seconds. The curry and mint flavor gave it a bit of a Mediterranean flavor as it tasted much like a Middle Eastern couscous dish. In fact, I am pretty sure one could easily serve Quinoa as a cold dish similar to Tabouleh.

I am sold on the idea of using Quinoa as a replacement for pasta and rice as I embark on my quest to healthier eating habits.
Overall it was easy to cook. I made it a point to get the dirty dishes and tools out of the way when cooking, so the mess factor was reduce to none! That was a plus. I am loving this journey thus far.

If you want to ask me a question or comment, click on the "comment" link in the window below.
Bon Appetit!


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I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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