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Crunchy Citrus Quinoa Salad

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Quinoa (pronounced Keen- Wa) dates back 3- 4 thousand years ago when the Incas had first realised this seed is fit for human consumption. The Incas called it ‘ The Mother of all Grains’  as it is naturally high in fibre and protein. Quinoa is versatile, ever so delicious- a superfood with a nutty, crunchy texture. It cooks up quickly and can be added to rice or salads not only to make them more nutritious but also to add a twist to something ordinary!

For this recipe I cooked 1/2 a cup quinoa. Firstly rinse the quinoa in a fine meshed strainer under cold water. I added the rinsed quinoa to 1 cup of water (with 1/2 a cube of mushroom stock, a small clove of garlic and a small rosemary sprig) and simmered until done. It cooked for 15minutes. Watch closely as the water evaporates and the seed swells. Do not let the quinoa stick or burn in the pot. I made sure to stir well towards the end so that it was cooked to perfection (you will know the quinoa is done when the tiny white ‘tail’ sticks out of the grain). Remove the rosemary and garlic when done. Quinoa can also be cooked to perfection in a rice cooker.

quinoa

 

Vegetables:

7 cm cucumber, chopped

1/4 cup Red Pepper, Chopped

1/2 cup Baby Rocket leaves (watercress will also do)

1/2 cup chopped cauliflower (steamed)

1/2 a corn on the cob, boiled and corn removed

handful of chopped fresh mint

Lemon Rind (3 Tablespoons)

Juice of half a lemon

You will also need:

1/2 cup wholewheat cous- cous (raw- To cook cous- cous add boiling water to cous- cous in a pot. Stir well with a fork and close the lid immediately. Let the pot stand for 10 minutes- Cous- cous is done!)

Throw all these ingredients into the quinoa and mix.  Lastly:

Lightly Drizzle with olive oil and crushed black pepper. I do not use salt when I have cooked with stock.

Some interesting quinoa Facts:

– Quinoa is gluten free so it is perfect for people of a gluten free diet.

– Quinoa grows with a bitter coating, called saponin, that fends off pests and makes quinoa easy to grow without chemical pesticides. While most quinoa sold today has had this bitter coating removed, an extra rinse is a good idea to remove any residue.

– Quinoa can also be used in place of bread crumbs!

– 1/2 a cup Quinoa will give you: 10 grams of proteins, 60g of carbohydrates and 6g of fat. A total of 332 calories for 1/2 a cup quinoa.

 

 

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