I made this yesterday and cannot wait to eat it up again for lunch! Yummy! I must say that Quinoa is one of my favorite super foods and is technically a seed (not a grain, making it Paleo friendly…you be the judge). The main reasons I love it are (source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4994/7-Benefits-of-Quinoa-The-Supergrain-of-the-Future.html):
- Protein Rich – Quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
- High Fiber Content – Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.
- High in Iron – Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.
- Contains Lysine – Essential for tissue growth and repair.
- Rich in Magnesium – Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
- High in Riboflavin (B2) – Improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.
Quinoa pretty much rocks it from a nutritional perspective and I got inspired by my cousin’s wife because she brought a Quinoa salad with a peanut dressing to our holiday party last Saturday.
Knowing many are allergic/sensitive to peanuts, I created this salad with a dressing that is nut free (and then completely negated my efforts by tossing in cashews) Cashews are easy to sub for some sunflower seeds though.
- 1 C Quinoa
- 2 C Water
- 2 C Chicken Breast, cooked
- 1 C Snap Peas, cut in half
- 2 C Brussel Sprouts, shaved
- 1 C Cashews, chopped (use sunflower seeds if allergic to cashews)
- 1 C Carrots, shredded or sliced thinly
- 1/2 English Cucumber, chopped
- 1/4 C Sunbutter
- 3 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Lemon, juice
- 3 tbsp Honey
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Chipotle Seasoning
- 4 tbsp Hemp Seeds
- 1 tbsp Mustard
- Bring water to boil. Add quinoa, turn down heat to low & simmer until fully cooked. Takes roughly 20 minutes or until liquid fully absorbed. Let quinoa cool for 20 minutes before adding dressing and chopped veggies.
- Mix together olive oil, mustard, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup and basil.
- Toss dressing with cooked quinoa, vegetables, chicken and cashews until combined.