Reason 143: Quinoa

Tuesday, May 31, 2011.

If you haven't tried quinoa (keen-wa) please do so.  Today.  It is a million times better than rice and could be compared to a mini massage in your mouth.  And the best part?  It is super healthy!  Here is a description I got from WebMD...

"Quinoa is now readily available in many supermarkets and is one of the best whole grains you can eat, according to Zied. "It is an ancient grain, easy to make, interesting, high in protein (8 grams in 1 cup cooked), fiber (5 grams per cup) and a naturally good source of iron," she says. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) also has plenty of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium to help control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes, she says. Quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice and can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables, nuts, or lean protein for a whole-grain medley. Try to make at least half your daily grain servings whole grains. In addition to quinoa, try barley, oats, buckwheat, whole wheat, wild rice, and millet."

And to start off (or continue) your quinoa adventures, here is an uber delicious recipe from Our Best Bites (my new favorite website).

(And if you don't like mango, leave it out.  Some readers suggested peaches, avacadoes, or roasted red peppers instead!)

Mango Quinoa Salad
Recipe adapted from Ali Vincent

2 cups cooked quinoa* at room temperature, or chilled
1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium mango, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 handful chopped cilantro (about 1/2 cup)
4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper

*Quinoa can be cooked in water or broth.  I suggest using vegetable or chicken broth for enhanced flavor, but plain water works great too.
Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl.  Add mango, red pepper, green onion, black beans, and cilantro.  In a small bowl combine vinegar, olive oil, and lime juice.  Whisk until smooth and pour on top of salad.  Toss to combine and add salt and pepper to taste.  Chill for at least one hour before serving.
And in other news, only two weeks left of spring term!  Jake and I are planning a spectacular St. George Adventure with two of our friends, Mary and Marc, after Spring ends.  Oh yeah and the BOC is coming. On that note, I am off to study.  


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