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Quinoa

This teeny-tiny, grain-like seed packs some serious nutritional prowess. With a mild, nutty flavor and a texture similar to rice or couscous, quinoa is one of the only grains or seeds that provides all nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce themselves . And it’s filled with protein— eight grams per one-cup serving, to be exact!

Your Realtor and Friend for Life!

~Kathy

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A few months ago my husband decided he wanted to go completely vegetarian. He has always been a health conscious gym rat, so he decided to take it a step further and completely give up meat. I’ve been adjusting to the vegetarian way and coming up with new cooking ideas at home.

I saw an article today when I went to Yahoo.com to sign into my email about quinoa. Quinoa is a grain-like crop used primarily for the seeds it produces. Quinoa is in the same family as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds and is a nutritional powerhouse, providing all 9 essential amino acids. Because of its great nutritional value, quinoa is considered a protein and can be a fantastic substitute for meat. An added bonus is that it is also gluten-free, making the food safe for people with a gluten-free diet.

Quinoa comes in a variety of colors and can be found at most grocery stores. It is one of those foods that makes being a vegetarian much easier because of its variety of uses, great taste, and nutritional value. My husband and I love it! It has become an essential ingredient in my kitchen.

Even if you may not be a vegetarian, I suggest trying quinoa! We are always striving for a more nutritional diet, and quinoa is very filling and healthy. The simplest way to eat quinoa is by preparing it like couscous:

  1. Rinse thoroughly to remove any residual resins
  2. Add to boiling water or broth
  3. Let sit for several minutes
  4. Fluff with a fork.

The quinoa seed can also be eaten like a breakfast cereal by adding some natural sweetner, cinnamon, or fruit. Other uses include adding to tacos, burritos, salads, scrambled eggs, or my personal favorite –veggie burgers. We also like to saute quinoa with broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, and green beans with a touch of spice. The uses are endless!

Here are a couple websites to get some more great recipes:

http://www.cookingquinoa.net/category/quinoa-recipes/

http://www.quinoa-recipes.com/

Give it a try, and let me know how you like it!

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