Way of the quinoa

© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad
© Will H., Quinoa & avocado salad

Way of the quinoa

by: Will H. | .
Stripes Europe | .
published: April 11, 2017

Quinoa is an ancient grain high in protein and fiber. With hardly any flavor or taste, it can be used in a multitude of ways within a meal plan. It can be eaten cooked, steamed, or raw. No doubt eating it alone does not sound inviting, but when paired with other more powerful flavors, it can give meals a protein and fiber boost with minimal effect. I firmly believe in the concept of meal in a cup or in a single dish, so adding quinoa to known recipes is relatively easy. Below are just a few ideas on how to use quinoa, but you are only limited to your imagination. Take note that quinoa is not the main ingredient in any of these dishes, but a compliment to the other flavors making up the dishes. I also prefer to make quick meals. I figure my goal in the kitchen is to prepare a meal and have it on the table with my fork destroying it in 20 minutes. All of these ingredients can be found at the local commissaries. 

QUINOA SMOOTHIE

200 milliliters milk (almond or coconut works as well)
100 grams Greek yogurt
100 grams frozen blueberries
100 grams quinoa, cooked
100 grams strawberry preserves (can be substituted for 100g frozen strawberries)
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon chia seeds


QUINOA AVOCADO SALAD

1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1 diced avocado
1 cup baby spinach, chopped (add more if you like)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped 
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
10 grape tomatoes, sliced in quarters
2 ounces feta cheese

Dressing:
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper

In a big mixing bowl, add spinach, avocado, tomatoes, and red onion to the bowl. I tear the baby spinach by hand. Mix very well. I normally just mix it with my hands. After cooking the quinoa ensure you drain it with a fine mesh sieve to get as much water out as possible. Add quinoa, feta, and walnuts to the bowl, mix by hand again. I cut the feta with a knife to have bigger chunks but if you want to grate it, so be it. Whip up the dressing. Pour half of it over the salad mix and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to let all the ingredients get to know each other better. 


SLOW COOKER QUINOA, SWEET POTATO & BLACK BEAN CHILI

1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 can black beans
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can tomatoes, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (you read that right)
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Go to sleep. Wake up. Run to the kitchen to see what your crockpot has bestowed upon you. Even the household vegetarians will be happy. You can always assemble  this up before going to work for the same effect. Add your favorite toppings.


QUINOA AND BEEF STUFFED PEPPERS

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
2 cans tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 garlic clove
4 peppers (any color works)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon pink salt
1 teaspoon  pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the red onion and garlic. Stir for two minutes and add ground beef to brown it.

Cut a quarter-inch off the top of the peppers. Pull off the tops and cut out the membrane and clean out the seeds. If the peppers don’t stand upright, cut a little off the bottom to make them stand properly.

Place cooked quinoa into a mixing bowl. Add the beef, onion, and garlic mixture.  Add one can of diced tomatoes, parsley, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Pour the other can of diced tomatoes into a square glass baking dish.  This will help steam the peppers and offer more flavoring. 

Pack each pepper with the quinoa mixture and place in the glass dish.  Cover the dish with foil.  Place in the oven for one hour.  Transfer to plates and spoon the diced tomatoes onto the plate. Serve.

MINTY CHICKPEA AND QUINOA SALAD

1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons orange zest, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup white onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Place quinoa in a bowl and stir in chickpeas, orange zest, pinch of salt and pepper, and one tablespoon of olive oil. Add in tomato, onion, and mint. Add additional oil until desired consistency is met. Chill in the refrigerator for up to an hour before eating. 

Tags: salad, quinoa, smoothie, food, drink, berry, chili, peppers
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