Sunday, May 5, 2013

Quintessentially Quinoa (keen-wa)

I just attended a lunch hosted by a fellow vegetable lover. Well, I'm a lover and she is more of a full ondevotee as they make up about 99% of her diet. As a vegetarian for over a decade, she masterfully created this vegetarian dish chocked full of freshness. It's a bold move serving up completely vegetarian dishes but this veggie veteran enlightened my taste buds. Cauliflower, sundried tomatoes, onions, broccoli, fresh tomato and roasted pumpkin seeds to finish it off. What is most amazing is that all of these ingredients were found in her pantry and cupboards at home. How many of you can say that? The key ingredient is Quinoa. It's a pseudocereal, a seed really, that is gluten free, cholesterol free, Kosher and almost always grown organically. In fact on my recent shopping adventures, I've yet to find a quinoa brand that's not. My hostess made it the base for this gourmet casserole and sent me home with leftovers which I must confess were my lunch and dinner the next day.

Food Fact:
Quinoa was a staple food in South America for thousands of years. It's a sustainable crop and even the Inca cultivated it at record high altitudes.

Quinoa is extremely healthy & perfect for vegetarians as it boasts the highest protein content of all the whole grains.

Be sure to stock up and find some amazing quinoa recipes online. You will be shocked as to view versatile a healthy food this is. It's so easy to prepare and try a pilaf or serve it with stir fry instead of rice. Try this quick recipe for a simple quinoa dish

Quick recipe!
It only takes15-20 to cook Quinoa
Cover it with water or fresh stock & boil until soft.
Add: Lemon juice, olive oil, & sprinkle of salt
Stir together and enjoy!

The delicious quinoa baked casserole dish that inspired this post.

Photo courtesy of The Salvation Series.