Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Continuing on with my quest to avoid going to the store and use up items in my fridge I stumbled upon a box of Quinoa and though, now here is a challenge!

Have you tried Quinoa? 

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is high in protein, calcium and iron, is a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. It is exceptionally high in lysine, cysteine and methionine-amino acids typically low in other grains. It is a good complement for legumes, which are often low in methionine and cysteine.

The protein in quinoa is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids. Some types of wheat come close to matching quinoa's protein content, but grains such as barley, corn, and rice generally have less than half the protein of quinoa.

Quinoa is 12% to 18% protein. The 6-7% fat of quinoa is relatively high when compared to other grains, but it boasts a low sodium content and also provides valuable starch and fiber. Quinoa also contains albumen, a protein that is found in egg whites, blood serum, and many plant and animal tissues.

The seeds are gluten-free which makes this a nutritious and flavorful alternative grain for those with gluten sensitivity. Quinoa would be a worthy addition to any one's diet, supplying variety as well as good nutrition.

There is a reason why the Quinoa has been sitting in my pantry since the summer, because I had no idea what I was going to do with it!  The idea of such a healthy and nutritionally supurb grain enticed me to buy it but then it sat on my shelf waiting for it's culinary debut into my diet for quite some time.

In an effort to use items I had on hand I surveyed my fridge and found tomatoes, garlic, onions and jalapenos which I cut up and put in a large pot and cooked over low heat to form a sauce:

After about 30 minutes the sauce cooked down and I added 2 cups of water and Quinoa (6 ounce package)

I covered the pan and let it cook over low heat for 30 minutes to allow the Quinoa to absorb the tomato sauce.  In need of some protein I looked around and came up with chicken sausage, it seemed like a good compliment to the dish.

Since the chicken sausage was pre cooked it only took a minute or so to heat in the Quinoa mixture

The final product?  Pretty good!

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