We are WAY too excited about Part 2 in this series because there is SO MUCH to say about QUINOA! Quinoa is basically a seed that you can treat like a grain. It's full of protein, fiber, and amino acids, and absolutely ESSENTIAL in our kitchens. (We even talked about it in our recent blog about "Batching." Click to read it) Stock up on quinoa in bulk or when it's on sale at your local grocery store because it is super versatile. Read on for our favorite ways to use this superfood...
BETTER GRAIN Use quinoa to replace grains like rice, couscous, pasta or barley. Why is it better than brown rice? It's higher in fiber and protein! It’s the perfect staple to build “rice bowls” or to bulk up salads. It can be eaten chilled or warm. Ancient Harvest makes a great pasta replacement that is more filling, nutritious and just as satisfying to the taste buds.
BETTER BREAKFAST Quinoa porridge is a perfect protein packed breakfast that’s vegan and gluten-free! This is one of our favorite breakfasts to eat before a busy work day, hike, or a day chock-full of errands; it keeps us energized and satiated.
To make: Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add one cup of quinoa. Stir and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 mins or until desired consistency. Add ¼ cup almond milk (we add milk at end instead of cooking quinoa in it to cut calories) Cinnamon, tsp vanilla extract, pinch of sea salt and sweeten as desired.
Sometimes we just put fresh berries and bananas on top and avoid sugar altogether. Other times we add tbsp maple syrup, brown sugar, raw honey, dates and cranberries or agave. It all depends on your mood! Other great boosts to be added can be chopped nuts, chia seed, ginger, cardamom or bee pollen. It’s similar to making oatmeal, but with added health benefits.
MEAT REPLACEMENT: We often use quinoa to add a protein boost to our plant based meals. When mixed with other plant protein, you’ve got the perfect recipe for a complete and satisfying meal. Add quinoa to beans, lentils, chopped walnuts, tempeh, or tofu. These proteins make the perfect starter for bean burgers, taco meat, stuffed pepper filling, bolognese sauce, or anything that you would typically use ground beef in. Click to Check out this recipe for buffalo cauliflower quinoa meatballs, saaay what? From The Almond Eater.
FLOUR REPLACEMENT: Feel guilty eating muffins, pancakes or cookies for breakfast? Well now you can indulge, instead of eating empty calories in white flour, quinoa flour will keep you full and give you a nutritional boost! Boom shaka laka! The only downside is that it’s more expensive than white flour. Here is a great blog on how to make quinoa flour yourself. Super easy, and once you’ve got it, you're stocked. We buy our quinoa in bulk at costco, it comes rinsed and ready to use!
DOG FOOD: Quinoa is the base of Howard and Jasper's dog food. Thank goodness we can buy it in bulk at Costco because food tends to be more pricey here in Hawaii. This has been a very healing grain for the bear after his recent health challenges of heart disease and acl tears. To make the base of his food I mix together:
1 cup cooked quinoa, 1 cup steamed veggies, tbsp chia seeds, tsp turmeric powder, tbsp green powder, tbsp coconut oil. Then I switch up the protein depending what I have on hand in the fridge, it varies between chicken breast, tofu, tempeh, salmon, lentils or beans. He eats this twice a day with sweet potato treats and almond butter treats throughout the day. This probably seems like a lot of food, but remember he’s a 90 pound dog :)
If you are interested in home cooking for your pup, here is a great source to better guide you with proportions: http://caninehearthealth.com/diet.html
If you are now on the quinoa train - GREAT! CLICK HERE for even MORE ways to eat it (50 to be exact). What are you most excited to try??