Quinoa belongs to the Amaranth family and is originally from South America. Unlike rice or wheat it is complete protein with all the eight essential amino acids. Recognising its wholesome properties, it has become a popular addition to the diet worldwide. It has low glycemic index and is good for diabetic patients. Presence of high potassium and magnesium helps to regulate blood pressure. Quinoa is thus a low calorie, low fat, gluten free, high fibre Super Food. Always cook Quinoa before adding it to a recipe. It cooks much the same way as rice in double the quantity of water. Below are some delightful Quinoa recipes.
1. Quinoa and Bean Salad
A high protein salad for weight watchers
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes
In a pan sauté paneer/ tofu cubes lightly and sprinkle with salt. Remove from pan.
Combine oil, basil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, mustard, sugar and garlic. Whisk in a large bowl till blended. Stir in the quinoa. Add the cool, cooked beans, tofu, tomatoes, onions and carrots and stir gently. Cover and store refrigerated before serving.
PS. You may like to add some lemon rind also if you want a stronger lemon flavor.
2. Quinoa Upma with vegetables
Upma the popular South Indian dish made with semolina may be made with quinoa too. Add vegetables to it to get a healthy and easy to do meal.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes
In a pan heat oil and splutter mustard seeds and cumin. To this quickly add the black gram and fry. Next add the onions and turmeric powder. Stir for 2 minutes. Put in the curry leaves, ginger, chilies and vegetables and sauté for 2 minutes. Add water to cook the vegetables. Cover and cook on medium flame. When vegetables are cooked, remove lid and gently add the quinoa. Put in the ghee/ butter for extra flavor. Mix well and serve hot.
3. Quinoa and Almond Ladoos
This versatile seed may be used to make ladoos too. When you powder 1 cup of quinoa it will yield approximately 1 ½ cups of flour.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Add ghee to a saucepan and heat. Put in the quinoa flour and almond meal and stir on a low flame. Add the coconut, sugar and chopped almonds and continue stirring. Add cardamom powder and milk. Stir till mixture thickens and sugar well melted. It must be dry enough to roll into balls. Remove pan from flame. Cool for a few minutes. Grease palms and spoon the mixture into your hands to make small ladoos. Cool well before storing in air tight container. Deliciously different!