Thursday, September 8, 2011


For dinner tonight we are eating my very favorite food, quinoa! I apologize if you have already had to listen to me talk about quinoa incessantly. You are excused from reading the rest of this post! But if you haven't yet or you just might like to learn a little more of why I have been insisting you eat this food then read on! For starters quinoa is pronounced keen-wah and we have made this food a staple in our diet. In fact I keep it in this pretty jar on the shelf so I can look at it all the time. Not really, it is just a conveinient way to store it. Plus it looks nice!
See, isn't that pretty and handy!

So let me just also say that you can do your own research and check my facts if you don't believe this list I am about to type because I know it might sound a little too good to be true.

Pam's Top 10 Reasons to Eat Quinoa
1. Although considered a grain it is very high in protein. In fact it is 4 eggs worth of protein in a 1 cup serving.
2. It contains all 8 amino acids and is highly digestable!
3. It has fewer carbs than wheat, rye, rice, and oats.
4. But... double or triple the fiber of the above mentioned grains.
5. You can find it at most major supermarkets and almost all health food stores. Plus it is affordable. I pay only $3.89 a pound by buying in the bulk section and that makes a lot of quinoa!
6. It cooks quickly, about 10-15 minutes compared to 30-40 for rice. It cooks with a 2:1 ratio which is pretty easy to remember. It MUST be rinsed before cooking though.
7. Extreme Versatility (this should really be reason #1) I have recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts that all use quinoa. I could eat it everyday!
8. Are you ready for this list? It is a GREAT source of calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins B and E, riboflavin, and linolenic acid the essential fatty acid proven to benefit the immune system.
9. It is a gluten free food for those with a gluten sensitivity and is also great for people looking to eat a little less meat yet still have enough protein in their diet. Great all around food for runners.
10. It is colorful. It comes in red, black, and cream and adds uniqueness to lots of dishes. It also has a wonderful nutty flavor and a wonderful crunchy texture!

So can you tell I am in love????  Tonight I went Greek with the quiona because I am also in love with Greek food. I mixed in kalamata olives, pepperoncinis, feta cheese, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, green and red onion, roasted red peppers, and my homemade Greek dressing. I made the kids' a little more mild because they think my dressing is a little spicy so I mixed theirs with Girards Light Ceaser which is the best ceasar in the world.

Here is my dinner plate tonight. Greek quinoa salad, broccoli, fresh raspberries with leftover mango and pears, and homemade baba ghanoush and hummus with pita.
Oh. So. Delicious.

Maybe another reason why I love quinoa so much is that I like to be a "dumping" kind of cook. I like to just dump in what I have left in the fridge and it is really hard to mess the quinoa up when you dump in your favorite foods and mix it with your favorite dressing. Speaking of dressing have you considered making your own before? It is generally much healthier for you and sugar free! It is hard to find sugar free dressings that taste good. I like to make mine in this Pampered Chef dressing container.
The little whisk inside makes this a perfect way to make dressing. I will give you my Greek dressing recipe as well but again I am a dumping kind of cook so the measurements are approximate and you can add more or less of what you like. If you make it a little strong at first just add more olive oil.

Greek Dressing
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix  or whisk all ingredients together. Pour over salad. Keeps in fridge for several days.

Now you are probably thinking I might try that but that your kids would never eat quinoa. Never under estimate them! My kids have come a long way and still have a ways to go in the health department but these were the comments from them tonight, "I like this! It isn't so bad." and as the other one ran out the door to play again the comment was, "I liked your dinner!" So see there is hope for your kids or maybe you!
I wish I had taken a picture of this plate when dinner was over because there wasn't a drop of food left on it. They even complained that I hadn't given them enough hummus and I had to add an extra dollop.

Now just in case you haven't heard enough about this superfood stay tuned tomorrow for how I like to eat it at breakfast! Also just in case you were wondering about the superfood title it wasn't me who gave it that name. It was NASA who deemed quinoa as a superfood that could sustain astronauts in space for up to 2 years if need be! You can check me out on that one too!

Just one more thing if you come up with a new recipe for quinoa or great way to eat it you are REQUIRED to share!


MaDonna Maurer said...

I'm going to check to see if I can find that here...and I'm not going to check your facts b/c I know you too well...;)

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