On a quest to eat healthier, my family and I discovered quinoa. Hailed as a superfood and a grain ancient warriors used to use for energy, quinoa is quite versatile. I use quinoa for meatless Monday meals. It has amino acids, promotes a healthy heart and has anti-inflammatory properties. And, it tastes great. Quinoa can be found in dried and frozen form. It is also used in prepared foods that makes cooking with quinoa easy. Here are three delicious ways to use quinoa.
Some people may think that a non-meat burger may not be hearty enough. Others think that a burger without meat doesn’t contain enough protein or iron. Yet, I have found that quinoa makes a delicious and hearty burger. It also contains a lot of protein and iron. Of course, the texture is slightly different. However, you can add in mushrooms or black beans to achieve a meatier taste. Using quinoa rather than ground beef or turkey can help save you money too.
One of my favorite types of quinoa burger is a teriyaki version. To make this you need three cups of cooked quinoa (follow the directions on the package). I use a mixture called “super grains” (red and white quinoa with millet and buckwheat). After the quinoa has been cooked and cooled, add in one egg and mix everything together. Heat up a tablespoon of canola oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, take an ice cream scooper and add in a scoop of the quinoa mixture. You can fit two or three into a large skillet. Flatten the burgers with a spatula and allow them to cook on medium for four to five minutes on each side. They should be browned and have slightly crispy edges. As the burgers are cooking, take a grill pan (or use your barbecue) and let it get hot. Take a can of pineapple rings, drain and put on a plate. Drizzle each ring with olive oil and honey. Then, cook each ring for four to five minutes on each side. Now it’s time to assemble your burgers. I went bun-less, but a nice brioche bun would work well with these. Put down a pineapple ring, your burger and then another pineapple ring. Top with teriyaki sauce, your favorite greens and any other condiments you like.
Fried Veggie Quinoa “Rice”
If you like fried rice, you will love fried veggie quinoa “rice.” Using quinoa helps boost the nutritional value a bit. There are a lot of variations to this dish. To make it super easy, I like to use a bag of frozen quinoa with veggies already in it. I cook the quinoa according to package directions. Then, I scramble a few eggs (usually four per 12 ounce package). Then, I add in a tablespoon of olive oil, two tablespoons of reduced sodium tamari sauce and my quinoa. I stir it around for about five minutes. I love this dish because it is so quick. You could also add meat, shrimp or pineapple to this meal.
Quinoa is a great replacement for rice or egg noodles in soup. For a simple meal, you can make veggie quinoa soup. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat up two tablespoons of olive oil. Then, dice up half of a small white onion and saute it for about three minutes in a heavy bottomed pan. Cut up four carrots and two potatoes into small ½ inch pieces and add it to the pot. Slice up two zucchinis and add it to the mix. Then, pour in one box of vegetable or chicken stock and allow it all to simmer for about about 25 minutes. Finally, stir in one and a half cups of cooked white quinoa. Allow it to cool and serve it hot with some crusty bread.
The next time you want a delicious, healthy meal, think about one of these ways to use quinoa in your recipes.
More from Melissa:
Health Benefits of Quinoa: Incan “Grain” of Choice
5 Ways to Boost the Nutritional Value of Desserts
Eating Whole Foods Completes Me