If you are trying to eat cleaner and healthier, or giving up gluten, wheat, or breads, you may be looking for more creative things to do with one of the healthiest grains around — Quinoa! It is filling, nutrient-dense, and a well-balanced food, which is technically not a grain, but is a seed from the Goosefoot fruit. It still has higher carbohydrates, but if you are seeking quick energy, the protein balances out the carbohydrate, making for quicker absorption of nutrients.
Quinoa is considered an “ancient grain,” eaten by the Incan empire as a sacred food. It’s also a superfood, and is one of the highest protein grains around. It is not so much of a grain, as a seed, so it is lower in carbohydrates for those eating low-carb or low-glycemic diets. It is even suitable, according to NASA, to be able to be grown in space!
It is high in amino acids, containing all 8 amino acids necessary for your body to function at an optimal level. Amino acids help heal wounds and repair connective tissue, making it a great post-workout food, both to help build muscle and for recovery.
Quinoa is a great food for diabetics or those with high blood sugar, as it is low on the glycemic index. It takes the place of grains like rice and pasta, and has a nutty flavor and a rich texture.
Rice bowls and rice pastas are gluten-free but can be sticky when served cold, as in pasta salads. Quinoa holds up well, both in cold and hot dishes, and is so much healthier for you than rice or pasta. It is not only low in fat, and cholesterol-free, but it contains 18 grams of protein per serving. Take that rice!
Also, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, quinoa is an excellent way to get your iron, magnesium, and fiber. Delicious … AND nutritious.
Eat these plain, or on top of a salad. They can be frozen and reheated easily.
Who knows filling flour when you can use a superfood instead?
These little bundles of comfort food use quinoa as the “meat.”
A quick meatless main dish recipe.
A hearty soup with protein and calcium.
Great to bring as a dish to a summer potluck dinner.
These Asian-inspired wraps area great alternative to chicken.
Easy to make and a chocolatey gluten-free decadent treat
You will need a tortilla press for this one, but make your own low carb tortillas.
A simple and healthy quinoa bowl for any time of day.
A creamy dish for dinner full of protein.
Like mac and cheese without the gluten.
For a great party appetizer with a dip.
A creamy, dreamy Thai inspired dish.
I was just cooked this for dinner the other night and it was incredible! Healthy, great texture, and great nutrition.
A light summer appetizer.
Fries without the guilt!
A heart-warming chili with a sweet finish.
Other gluten-free hot cereals you have to let sit over night, but not this one.
Are there are recipes using quinoa that you’d recommend? Tell us in the comments!
Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com