Quinoa… a nutrition powerhouse!

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While most grains are not complete protein sources because they lack adequate amounts of the amino acids lysine and isoleucine, quinoa has these making it a complete protein. Quinoa contains dozens of anti-inflammatory compounds that help prevent disease and provide valuable amounts of heart-healthy fats.  It is a good source of fiber, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and calcium.

Cook with quinoa as you would rice. It can also be made into a delicious breakfast porridge. Store quinoa in an airtight container. It will keep for a longer period of time, approximately three to six months, if stored in the refrigerator.

Quinoa is gluten-free so can be eaten if you are gluten intolerant. However, some people with celiac might find that they are sensitive to quinoa. In a 2011 study be Zevallos, it was found that 2 cultivars had celiac-toxic epitopes that could activate the immune responses in some patients with celiac disease. More studies are needed for a conclusion. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2012/06/28/ajcn.111.030684.abstract

QUINOA WITH CELERY AND MUSHROOMS

I love this recipe. It’s healthy, simple, delicious, and versatile. Throw in sliced Kalamata olives or chopped herbs or top with feta cheese or sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds or chopped walnuts or add broccoli florets in with the quinoa and garlic, add hot sauce to it…..you get the idea.

And notice that there are two cups of very low calorie vegetables thrown in here? This decreases the overall calorie content. This is an example of how you can cut calories without eating less. Remember that one of my “secrets” for eating fewer calories but feeling fuller is to add vegetables.

3 medium stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)

1 cup mushrooms, cut into pieces– try Crimini or wild mushrooms)

3 cups chicken stock

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups quinoa (You can purchase quinoa at many grocery stores but I prefer to buy mine at Costco for a better bargain)

In a medium saucepan add the diced celery and mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and garlic and return to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 12 to 14 minutes.

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