Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wah”, is one of those super foods that you hear and read about all the time but just might not know what to do with it. This ancient grain, native to South America, was once called “the gold of the Incas” for it’s value in increasing stamina for the warriors.
Quinoa is prepared just like rice in a two to one ratio: two parts liquid to one part grain. In today’s recipe I prepared it with chicken broth but you could easily use water instead. This grain tastes delicious served as porridge for breakfast topped with honey and nuts just like you would with oatmeal. It also tastes great cold as a salad or warm as a side dish as I’ve demonstrated above.
So why is quinoa so great anyway? One main reason: it is a whole grain that is also a complete protein. Not only do you get all of the health benefits of whole grains but you also get tissue-building, stomach filling protein. Not enough for you? Quinoa also:
- Fights Breast Cancer: Pre-menopausal women who ate the most fiber more than halved their risk of developing breast cancer.
- Helps Migraines: A great source of magnesium, this mineral helps relax blood vessels which helps prevent migraines.
- Cardiovascula Health: That same magnesium that helps preven migraines has the same effect on boosting heart health.
- Vegan or Vegetarian? Quinoa is a complete protein which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids.
- Avoid Gallstones: Quinoa is high in insoluble fiber which has been shown to help women avoid gallstones.
If it’s good enough for Incan Warriors, it is good enough for me.
Your fork is waiting.
Quinoa with Toasted Pine Nuts and Tahini Dressing
- In a medium sauce pan, bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil then simmer covered for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- While quinoa is cooking, wisk together tahini, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and warm water.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a small frying pan over medium heat until brown about 3-5 minutes.
- Using a fork, mix the quinoa with half of the tahini dressing reserving the remaining half for serving.
- Divide between four plates and garnish with toasted pine nuts, parsley and remaining dressing.