by ADMIN on JULY 1, 2011
Quinoa is an ‘exotic’ grain that has hit the main stream running. And what better way to introduce Quinoa to your taste buds than after mixing it with crunchy veggies and savory walnut pesto?!
Let me tell you a little bit about Quinoa (Pronounced: Keen-Wah).
This seed is one of the few plant foods that contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. You heard me right, Quinoa is technically a seed not a grain! It explains the nice nutty flavor quinoa has. Anyway, as a complete protein it is equivalent to animal protein in providing the amino acid building blocks needed to support your immune system, wound healing, tissue repair, hair growth, and building hormones.
In addition to protein, Quinoa is also a good source of B vitamins and other minerals. The seed is also gluten free making it a great food for those who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Most quinoa is grown in South America and the Inca Indians have been eating the seed, which they call “Mother Grain”, for over 5,000 years.
1/2 cup cooked Quinoa has: 111 calories, 2 grams of fat (no saturated), 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 15% of your recommended Daily Value of Iron, 19% DV folate, 30% DV magnesium, 28% DV phosphorous, 58% DV manganese. Vegetable Quinoa with Walnut Pesto Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 40 mins Serves: 6 Quinoa is an 'exotic' grain that has hit the main stream running. And what better way to introduce Quinoa to your taste buds than after mixing it with crunchy veggies and savory walnut pesto?!
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 bundle asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped
½ red onion, chopped
½ english cucumber, cut into bite-sized pieces (No need to peel English cucs!)
1 can low sodium garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed in cool water
4 oz feta cheese
2-3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 bunch basil
3 Tbsp olive oil
⅓ cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 425F
Bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Be aware that once the water is absorbed, the quinoa may burn quickly, so keep an eye on it!
Meanwhile, place chopped asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil, mix, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast at 425F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender.
Pesto: Combine the basil, olive oil, and walnuts in a food processor or Magic Bullet and blend until smooth. Whisk pesto with the red wine vinegar.
Fluff the quinoa when done, then combine it with the chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Gently mix in pesto.
Sprinkle with Feta cheese and serve!