I’ve really been on a quinoa kick these days! I love this recipe because it’s a lot like spaghetti, but without all the quilt. Quinoa keeps you fuller longer; it is higher in fiber, and protein and therefore you don’t burn it up as quick. This is a great midweek dinner because it essentially cooks its self and it makes a pretty big batch, so it’s perfect for lunch leftovers.
I used the PC organic brand of quinoa, but you could use any kind really. If you are not using the kind from the superstore measure out about 1 cup and just be sure to note whether your quinoa needs rinsing or soaking.
Read more for this delicious recipe and to find out 5 reasons why quinoa is better!
Why is Quinoa better?
Quinoa is a complete protein it has a higher protein content than wheat, barley or other major grains. Protein is essential for repair of muscle and tissues in the body; many people are unable to obtain enough protein in their diets for various reasons, but quinoa is a very versatile way to get the necessary protein in your diet. Not only will protein help repair muscles, but it actually keeps you full.
Quinoa is rich in fiber so it digests slowly and has a low glycemic index, helping you steer clear of the blood-sugar roller coaster rides. The texture forces you to slow down in your meals, so you aren’t gorging yourself at dinner. Quinoa pairs very well with other vegetables to provide a very well rounded meal, high in vitamins, minerals, and protein while still low in fat and calories.
Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate, quinoa acts an internal cleanser, easing the progress of food through the digestive tract. If eaten regularly Quinoa can actually help prevent constipation and bloating. Quinoa can be used in breads, soups or other foods where grains are a primary ingredient, offering a steady source of colon-cleansing fiber. The vitamin B and folate in quinoa also help the liver in its role of eliminating wastes from the body.
Quinoa is a flavorful source of plant-derived calcium. Calcium builds and maintains bones and teeth, helps regulate the contraction of the heart, and facilitates nerve and muscle function. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 30 milligrams of calcium!
A cup of cooked quinoa offers 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron, which helps to deliver oxygen to the blood, boosting energy and brainpower. Quinoa’s vitamin B content can help keep the mind sharp, maintain brain volume and stabilize mood.
Shortcut Recipe: Ground Chicken Quinoa Skillet
- 1 package of extra lean ground chicken
- 1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes (not drained)
- 1 med onion – diced
- 1 green pepper -diced
- 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup hot salsa
- Spices for meat (1 tsp garlic, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, 1-1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 onion powder, dash of salt and pepper)
- 1 package of organic quinoa (pre-soaked) I used the PC brand from the Superstore.
- 1-2 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and more for garnish.
Remove meat from package and place in a large pot on high heat; cover half the meat with water and add spices and brown.
Add tomatoes (with juice), quinoa, veggies to the ground chicken mixture and simmer (uncovered) for about 25 minutes. If water evaporates too quickly cover the pot.
Remove from heat, stir in 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and set aside for 5 minutes. Quinoa should be soft.
Serve hot and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and parsley.
This recipe is just the basics! Feel free to explore other ingredients like zucchini, broccoli or other veggies, spices and cheeses!
Happy Monday Blog Reader!