Quin No Uh? Kee-no-what? Quinoa!

What is this thing…”quinoa”? How do you pronounce it? This wonderful ancient grain is called quinoa and pronounced “keen-wah”.  Quinoa is considered a whole grain and is also naturally gluten-free. It is such an important food because it is considered a complete protein as well, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids, which is not very common for plant foods. So if you are looking for something new that is a good protein source, a good fiber source, and a versatile gluten-free whole grain, then you should check out quinoa!

Quinoa can also be used in place of other grains and even as a breakfast cereal. Here is a favorite recipe of mine to get you started:

Tabouleh with Quinoa

by Anthony Tassoni, RD, LDN

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup, Feta Cheese, crumbled

¼ Cucumber

Juice from ½ Lemon

3 Tbsp Olive Oil

¼ cup Parsley, raw

1 cup Quinoa, uncooked

½ large Tomato

PREPARATION:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and stir in 1 cup of Quinoa. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the water is mostly absorbed. While the Quinoa is cooling, diced up the tomato, cucumber and parsley. After Quinoa has cooled, mix in the diced vegetables, the olive oil, lemon juice squeezed from ½ lemon and feta cheese. Mix together and add salt and pepper to taste. Store in the refrigerator as a cold salad.

Nutrition Facts:

2 Ounces provides about 140 Calories, 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of sat. fat, 6mg of cholesterol, 70 mg of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein

This recipe is great for a summer side dish or on top of a bed of lettuce. It is served cold, so be sure to make a big batch to have throughout the week.

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