Quinoa, often referred to as “a vegetable caviar” or “rice of the Inca Empire” is a very unique seed due to it being high in protein, fiber and minerals while being completely gluten free. It’s super healthy, fluffy, tasty and highly versatile. It’s also a bit difficult to pronounce: “KEEN-WAH”. I love saying that. Keen-wah.
Now that you know just how amazing and healthy quinoa is, it’s time to incorporate it into your diet. Not being much of a meat-eater, I always look for new ways to get in some of that protein in mah belly. What’s great about quinoa is that you can have it with anything, fruit or veggies, you can serve it as a side dish, or as a main course. One of my favorite ways to have quinoa is with lots and lots of veggies. Surprise, surprise. I love, love, love my veggies.
2 cups of white quinoa
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 yellow bell pepper, cubed
1 green bell pepper, cubed
a bunch of asparagus, cut
2 small red onions, cubed
2 yellow squashes, cubed
3 cloves of garlic, sliced into thick pieces
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup of olive oil
small bunch of chives, chopped
To prepare the quinoa you need to first rinse it in a sieve under cold water until it runs clear. This a very important step, even if the package reads “rinsed” or “washed”. Quinoa has natural coating called saponin that can make it taste a bit bitter or even soap-like. Once your quinoa is washed and ready to be cooked, bring it to a boil in a covered pot filled with 3 cups of water and some salt (1.5 cups of water per each cup of quinoa, you can also use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water-it will make your quinoa even more delicious), then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with fork.
While your quinoa is cooking, preheat the oven to 450F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all your cubed veggies in a large bowl, add a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, add about 2-3 TBS of olive oil and mix well. Place the veggies in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, turning them over a few times so that they roast evenly.
To prepare the dressing, combine all of the ingredients together, feel free to add some of your favorite spices to it as well. I actually added some dijon honey mustard and it came out great.
Once both your veggies and your quinoa are ready, combine them and pour the dressing over it, while mixing. Serve with additional lemon wedges.
This is so delicious you guys, you really need to give it a try. Even though I only used two cups of quinoa, I ended up with enough food for the rest of the week (and it’s only Tuesday!), so feel free to half the ingredients. This is great both warm and cold, you can have it for dinner, or lunch- I know that I’ll be taking some of this to work with me tomorrow :D . One thing that I have to say is that if your diet is lacking some of that fiber, you need to be careful. Because quinoa is so very rich in fiber, when consumed in large quantities it can
give you the runs cause some minor digestive issues.
Keen-wah!! (Sorry, I had to. Doesn’t it sound like a foreign language “goodbye” or “hello”? Really reminds of me Chinese “hello” which is pronounced “Nee-ha-OW”). God, I’m weird.