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Monday, December 5, 2011

Can You Say Quinoa?

Quinoa, pronounced "Keen-wah", is a powerful wholegrain packed with antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients, and amino acids.  Small and round, this unassuming grain can be used in place of rice, used in casseroles, as a topping for salads, or is also available in pasta form.


Quinoa comes in three main varieties of grains (easily distinguished by their colors; cream, red and black) with each variety having a slightly different flavor.  Quinoa as a whole has a nutty, hearty flavor and is a delicious option to your standard rice.  Check out this link to the Whole Foods web site explaining the benefits and nutrition content of Quinoa: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=142&tname=foodspice

I have used Quinoa frequently instead of pasta for the last year or so and it is the one pasta replacement option my husband doesn't turn his nose up at.  It looks like, tastes like and has the texture of spaghetti and given its healthy goodness, I don't think I will ever go back to regular pasta.

Quinoa can also be used in place of rice cereal as a baby's first food.  We have started Quinoa with our daughter this week and it's an easy way to pack a large amount of nutrition into a few small ounces. Steamed and pureed, it's an economical easy way to make your own baby food and it stores easily in the fridge or freezer.  Recommended as a Level 1 Grain by Baby 411, Quinoa is fast becoming a popular, versatile grain for your whole family.

Try it, get to know it....you won't be disappointed.

Here is a delicious example of an easy, wholesome dish using Quinoa, let me know what you think!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients



6 Organic Large Green Bell Peppers
1 Cup Quinoa
2 Cups Water
1 Lb. Grass Fed Ground Sirloin
1 Medium White Onion, peeled and diced
1 16 oz. Can Organic Diced Tomatoes
2 Cups Organic Tomato Sauce
3/4 Cup Organic Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
2 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Garlic Salt
2 Teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
2 Teaspoons Sea Salt

Directions

  • In a medium saucepan, combine Quinoa and Water, bringing to a boil

  • Cover and reduce heat to Medium Low, simmering for 10 - 15 minutes (until water is absorbed completely)


  • Set aside
  • Cut the tops off of the green peppers, discard the stems from the top and chop remaining portion finely

  • Hollow out the innards and seeds from inside of the peppers
  • Lightly spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray, place peppers in dish side by side, open side up
  • Set aside and preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over Medium heat
  • Add onions, cooking for 5 minutes or until just clear
  • Add ground sirloin
  • Cook for 5 - 7 minutes or until beef is well cooked
  • Add green peppers, diced tomatoes and spices, stirring frequently for 3 minutes
  • Add tomato sauce and reduce heat to Low, simmering for 5 minutes

  • Add reserved Quinoa to skillet, stirring to combine

  • Using a large spoon, scoop the mixture from the skillet into the peppers until just beneath the top
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle tops of peppers evenly with cheese

  • Return to oven (no aluminum foil) for an additional 10 minutes
  • Serve immediately

    • Enjoy!

    6 comments:

    1. Looks like a great recipe! We'll give it a try. Fil

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    2. Thanks Fil ;) You should follow my blog and stop being Anonymous!

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    3. That looks so yummy....we will definitely try it...Thanks for a new idea!!

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    4. I'll try it, but I'm determined not to be a fan of queemwa. Love you guys!

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    5. Thanks Jill! You can start a Quinoa trend across the pond :-) Joanne, I know your Italian blood must boil at the thought of a pasta replacement but I promise, you will love it!

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    6. By the way, if you have left over filling it will keep in the freezer for up to six months!

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