Oh. My. God. How have I lived 28 years without trying this awesome grain? I am in love. I’ll even go as far as to say that this could replace white rice in our house! (And if you know me, you know I eat rice with almost everything.)
If you haven’t heard about quinoa – allow me to introduce you to this little, amazing, ancient grain.
Quinoa is widely believed to be the most ancient of “grains” – Technically it’s a seed and is related to leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. The best part about this little grain is its health benefits – it is a complete protein. I’m not good at nutrition stuff, so I’ll refer you to World’s Healthiest Foods for more info. I will share this tidbit of info that’s an added bonus for me – quinoa is high in manganese, which is said to be good for migraine sufferers.
On to the recipe, which, I swear, I could eat every day. This recipe reminds me of spanish or Mexican rice. I can’t say enough good things about it. Please try it. Especially if you’ve never tried quinoa before … it’s a great introduction.
Quinoa salad with black beans and corn
From Answerfitness.com (Makes 8 – 2 cup servings)
1 1/2 dry quinoa
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels, thawed
1 cup grape tomatoes sliced in half
2 oz low-fat feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
Optional Protein Booster: 2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken breast
2 TBS olive, walnut or avocado oil
3 TBS lime juice (the juice of about two limes) or 3 packets True Lime crystallized lime (reconstituted in 3 TBS water)
2 TBS water
1 fresh garlic clove, minced or 1 tsp jarred minced garlic
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp dried Mexican or Greek oregano
1 tsp chili powder, Ancho Chili Powder or Chipotle Powder
1 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Place quinoa and 3 cups water in 1 1/2 quart saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed (about 15 minute.) Remove from heat, let cool and fluff with a a fork.
While quinoa is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette by combining the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisking until well combined.
In a very large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa grain with the remaining ingredients (red onion, black beans, corn, tomatoes and chicken breast and feta cheese, if using).
Pour vinaigrette over the salad, and mix until well combined.
Serve as an entree or as a side salad with a main course.
Chill leftovers for quick lunches and dinners later in the week.
Fat: 7 g
Fiber: 7 g
Protein: 10 g