I brought one of my favorite Quinoa salads to a ladies lunch this week and everyone said KEEN-WHAT?  Everyone loved the salad so I thought you might like it too. 

I stumbled onto Quinoa (keen-wa) a couple of years ago when I decided to go Gluten Free, and  it has become a staple in my diet. 

Quinoa is a seed.  It is considered a chenopod, and not a grain.   Quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds., it is gluten free, very high in protein and full of amino acids. It is considered a complete protein as it happens to be the only “grain” that possesses all nine essential amino acids (including lysine).  It has a very mild flavor and can be used in many dishes from breakfast meals, salads, stir fry's, pilaf's and soups.  I even sprout my quinoa and add it to salads.  I will share a few of my favorite recipes and I'm sure it will become a favorite of yours too.

Cooking Instructions:

RINSE, RINSE, RINSE  and then RINSE again.  Quinoa has an outer coating called saponins which is very bitter, rinsing removes the bitterness.
Quinoa cooks much like white rice.  Cooking time is about 15 minutes.   Use sauce pan or rice cooker.

1 cup quinoa to 1 cup water. 
If I want my quinoa a bit creamier, for a breakfast cereal, I will use 1 cup quinoa to 1 - 1/2 cups water. 

Let's start with breakfast

I use Quinoa much like I do oatmeal.  Quinoa can become very mushy and not very appetizing if cooked with too much water. 

For hot cereal, cook 1 cup Quinoa in 1-1/2 cup water until all the water is absorbed and Quinoa is tender (about 15 min).  You may add a bit of your favorite milk for a creamier cereal.  We LOVE coconut milk.   Top with chopped nuts, berries, a drizzle of honey or a dollop of yogurt.    Enjoy!

Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

This is the salad I shared with friends at a luncheon, it was a hit.   Complete protein, loads of veggies, great flavor.

Prepare Quinoa.   Cook 2 cups of well rinsed Quinoa in 2 cups of water with a pinch of salt and cool.

I sauteed 1 small onion
1 clove garlic and
1 finely chopped red pepper in a tablespoon of coconut oil.
When tender  toss in 1 chopped ripe mango and 1/2 cup mango salsa into my saute pan.  If you cannot find 1 ripe mango slightly increase your mango salsa.  As the salsa was heating up toss in 1 chopped tomato, and 1 can rinsed and drained black beans.    Remove from heat.

In a large bowl fluff cooked Quinoa, and add all ingredients from the saute pan, tossing gently until all the ingredients were nicely mixed. 

Lastly, toss in chopped cilantro, and chopped green onions.  I love cilantro so I use quite a bit. 

Another option if you are not crazy about cilantro is chopped spinach.  Toss in a cup or two of baby spinach and ENJOY!

For more greens serve on a bed of chopped lettuce.

Let yourself be creative with the amounts of all of these ingredients.  Add more of what you like and remember that the more veggies you add the more anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals you get.