Ode to Quinoa

So sue me, I’m on a quinoa kick. I’ve made at least three dishes with a base of quinoa over the past few days. I can’t help it though. Quinoa is so versatile. You can make it into a warm and comforting dish, or a light and fresh chilled dish. Either way it will be delicious, nutritious and super quick and easy to make. I promise. This first recipe I like to call Pile of Goodness, hopefully you can deduce why…

Close-up loveliness. This dish was served warm, topped with a combination of fresh veggies and a pomegranate balsamic vinegar reduction.

The other dish I made is one of my favorites. It is a Black Bean, Quinoa & Citrus Salad.

Serve this one chilled for best results!

Quinoa is actually one of my favorite ways to incorporate protein into my diet. One of the biggest misconceptions about vegetarians is that they cannot consume adequate amounts of protein without eating meat. This is simply false. So as a vegetarian, perhaps I’ll do a post soon on my favorite meat-free protein sources. It really is much easier than you’d think!

Pile of Goodness

Serving size: one

1/4 cup dry quinoa

3/4 cup raw broccoli

1/2 tomato, diced

1/4 red pepper, sliced

1/2 medium zucchini, sliced

1 generous handful raw kale, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 tbsp pomegranate balsamic vinegar

To make this recipe, follow instructions on the box to prepare the quinoa. While quinoa is cooking, pour olive oil into a medium skillet and turn to medium heat. Once heated, add garlic, broccoli, tomato, red pepper, zucchini and kale. Stir veggies frequently until they are as tender or firm as you like them. Probably about 8-10 minutes. Plate pile of veggies over the quinoa, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and you are ready to eat!

Black Bean, Quinoa & Citrus Salad

Serving size: four

Recipe adapted from Iowagirleats.com 

1/2 cup dry quinoa

1/4 small red onion, minced

1 grapefruit, diced

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 avocado, diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

1/2 orange bell pepper, diced

1/3 fresh cilantro, chopped

1  1/2 limes (for their juice)

1 tbsp olive oil

Again, for this recipe follow the instructions on the box to prepare the quinoa. Then, simply slice, dice and chop the following 8 ingredients and place them in a bowl. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the mixture and pour in olive oil. Mix to coat. When quinoa is cooked, combine with the rest of the salad and place in refrigerator to chill before eating. 1 hour will be plenty of time to chill.

Defy the protein myth,

Sydney

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