Quinoa recipes to add protein and whole grain

Quinoa has gained a lot of popularity lately and rightfully so, it is one of a very few plant sources that are a complete protein, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids. Although quinoa itself does not have a lot of flavor it does take on flavor from the ingredients you add. Pairing quinoa with fresh herbs and spices as well as a variety of veggies, nuts or fruit will compliment the grain and create a delicious dish. The following are some recipe ideas that incorporate quinoa…

Quinoa w/ fresh basil vinegrette, veggies & fresh mozzerella

1 cup quinoa

2 cups low sodium chicken stock

Grape tomatoes sliced in half

Pitted calamatta olives sliced in half

Small ball of fresh mozzerella cubed

Vinagrette; 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar & chopped fresh basil

Rinse quinoa thoroughly. Bring stock to boil, add quinoa and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for approximately 20 minutes/ liquid is absorbed. Fluff w/ fork add fresh ingredients & vinegrette and toss. Chill and serve cold.

Quinoa w/ roasted butternut squash

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chicken/vegetable stock

1 small butternut squash, peeled & cubed

1/4 – 1/2 cup of dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Rinse quinoa thoroughly. Bring chicken stock to a boil, add quinoa & reduce heat to simmer. Cook approximately 20 minutes/ liquid absorbed.

Peel, seed and cut butternut squash into 1/4″ cubes. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup syrup & sprinkle of cinnamon & nutmeg to taste. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake @ 360 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, until squash is tender.

Whisk 1/4 cup of olive oil w/ 1/4 cup syrup and toss in quinoa. Add cranberries, pecans & squash. This dish can be served cold or hot.

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