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Quinoa: Grain's Best Kept Secret

Posted by Active Toby on May 22, 2007 12:19:00 PM

The following recipe is courtesy of Tara Coleman, a certified clinical nutritionist in San Diego. Tara has developed a practical approach to nutrition that offers our endurance community straightforward information to take performance to new levels. She can be reached at mailto:tara@taracoleman.com for additional information about individualized food and supplement health programs.

 

[tara@taracoleman.com|http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/22/quinoa.jpg]Quinoa (pronounced ?keen-wa?) is a nutritious grain that I integrate into all of my clients? meal plans. It originated in the Andes highlands and was revered as a sacred crop by the Incan civilization. During the European occupation of South America, the conquistadors overlooked quinoa and favored the potato as a staple of their diet ? and French fry lovers everywhere have rejoiced ever since! Today, however, quinoa has been embraced for its versatility and impressive nutritional profile.

 

 

 

Quinoa has a high level of protein (15 percent) and is one of the few non-animal sources of complete protein. It is also gluten-free and contains none of the allergens common to many grains. It is high in fiber and low-glycemic, providing sustained energy for both training and event day.

 

 

 

Quinoa has a texture similar to cous cous with a pleasant nutty flavor. It is found packaged or in bulk at most health food stores and can replace rice or cous cous in any recipe. Quinoa is cooked in a 2-to-1 water-to-quinoa ratio or in a rice cooker. It can also be toasted over low heat and added to granola or fruit for a quick snack. For those that are a little more adventurous try the recipe below:

 

 

 

Sweet and Spicy Toasted Quinoa

1 cup dry quinoa

2 cups water

1 tbsp fresh ginger root, chopped

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves. chopped

1 quarter red onion, chopped

4 tbsp limejuice

2 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup walnut pieces

1 can mandarin oranges, drained

 

 

 

Toast the dry quinoa in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Stir consistently for about five minutes making sure not to burn. In a separate pot, bring the water, ginger, jalapeno, and salt to a boil. Add the toasted quinoa and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

 

 

 

Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and allow to cool. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. Serve cool.

 

 

 

Total Prep Time ? 30 minutes

Servings ? 4

 

 

 

This dish makes an excellent side for chicken or grilled fish. You can also mix in canned tuna or chicken for a quick meal on the go.

Enjoy!

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