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:firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information about individualized food and supplement health programs.
[email@example.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.