Friday, October 8, 2010

Quinoa with Sun Dried Tomatoes

If you have never tried quinoa, you must as soon as possible, I cannot stress how wonderful this grain is!  It is considered one of natures "superfoods" .
Quinoa is an ancient grain grown above 12,000 feet above sea level. It is a whole grain and has been classified by the National Academy of Sciences as one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom.
It is gluten-free, has a low glycemic index and provides all of the eight essential amino acids.
It is simple to cook, unlike rice and tastes fantastic.  One of my favorite recipes is from Tosco Reno's The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook.

1 tsp best-quality olive oil
8 sundried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
2 minced shallots
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium, low-fat chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup dry quinoa
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper


1. Rinse quinoa grains in fine mesh sieve (to remove the bitter saponin layer) until water runs clear (about 1 minute).This step is very important unless you buy pre-rinsed quinoa.

2. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add tomatoes, shallots, and garlic. Sauté until shallots are softened.

3. Add stock OR water and bring to a boil.

4. Stir in quinoa and cayenne pepper. Return to boil.

5. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

6. Let stand for 5 minutes, and fluff with a fork.

7. Mix in the seasonings!
Calories 128
Protein 5 grams
Carbs 23 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Sugar 1 gram
Fat 3 grams
Sodium 211 mg
The picture above is made with red quinoa, you can also make black or white. I like to mix in cubed cucumber, chunks of chicken breast and some fresh chopped green onions, top with some fat free vinaigrette and you have a complete, healthy meal.
Feel free to experiment and mix in whatever vegetables you enjoy. 
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