01-Aug-2014 / / Health & Fitness
With the recent rise of gluten sensitivities (myself included), quinoa has become a famous substitute for all of those problematic starches; pasta, oats, etc. It is also rich in protein, which makes it a favorite among the vegetarian/vegan communities. Regardless of your dietary restrictions, quinoa is not only nutritious and delicious but also very versatile. While the first way I’ve ever had it (my mom’s Aztec salad) will always be my favorite, these other four aren’t too far behind!
1. Aztec Salad (mom’s recipe)
The simplest and easiest way to eat this power grain is mixing it with some of your favorite veggies and accouterments. For me, that means chopped cucumber, onion, tomato, feta cheese, and pinto beans tossed with a splash of lemon juice, EVOO, and balsamic. Goodbye pasta salad, this is my go to (low calorie) dish to bring to summer parties.
2. Quinoa “Oatmeal”
Oatmeal has never been my favorite food to start the day, but I appreciate its ability to sustain me until lunch the way no other breakfast food ever has. This quinoa version is more appealing to my taste buds and even more filling than its counterpart. The recipe calls for heavy whipping cream, but those of us trying to whip our butts into shape should opt for skim or 2% milk. I usually skip the granola and top mine with a banana instead (for an extra early morning boost) but to each her own. Go to recipe
3. Broccoli and Cheese Quinoa Bites
This is what I like to call the new comfort food. It has all the savory indulgent flavors you expect in a casserole without the guilt. These bites make a great side dish for any dinner and the perfect snack for later. Go to recipe
4. Quinoa Fried Rice
I have tried many quinoa fried rice recipes, and this one always comes out on top. It has a good shrimp-to-vegetable ratio, but I always add extra veggies to keep me fuller, longer. Broccoli, bok choy, and water chestnuts are excellent additions Go to recipe
5. Strawberry Quinoa Parfait
Save room for dessert! No sweet ending is without sin, but there is a lot less guilt when you replace the cake with fiber rich quinoa instead…just go light on the whipped cream, heavy on the berries. Go to recipe
Rachael Kostelec is a writer, comedienne, and rule breaker. While she starts every day with a cup of green from her juicer, more often than not she is ending her day with a bottle of white. To counteract the debauchery, Rachael enjoys long walks with her Siberian Husky (Paris), bike rides in the park, and finding exciting new activities to switch up the monotony of the gym. Living in the city that always eats (New Orleans), this former “yo-yo dieter” is trying to master the art of healthy eating (and drinking) while dining out, without taking things (or herself) too seriously. Laugh, it burns calories.