Tag: quinoa

Quinoa Cashew Bites

Quinoa is so much more than what it appears to be! Did you know that quinoa is not even a true grain even though it is usually lumped with grains in recipes and nutritional discussions? This funny word carries a powerful array of nutrients. Regardless of how you pronounce it, although correctly, it is “keen-wah,” today is a good time to learn more about this wonder and discover why you should be eating it more often.

Whole grains are rich sources of fiber and many nutrients, but they often fall short on protein. Grains are considered incomplete proteins due to their lack of sufficient amounts of the amino acids lysine and isoleucine. Quinoa, which is not a grain, but a seed, has significantly greater amounts of both amino acids mentioned above, and is therefore a complete protein source, in fact, similar to animal protein sources. One cup of cooked quinoa delivers an average of eight grams of protein. This peculiar seed, a relative of beets, also contains significantly more fat. Fortunately, it is the healthier fat that enhances our immune systems and doesn’t damage our hearts. It’s no wonder that it has long been a star ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian recipes. It provides quality protein and fat for those on a plant-based diet.

Quinoa comes in a variety of colors, including red, white, and black. Although they don’t have a highly distinctive taste, the white variety seems to be the most popular. And here is some good news: Prepare it just as you would most grains. Calculate one cup of dry quinoa to two cups of water, and bring it to a boil, simmering for 15 to 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. The result will be fluffy, translucent-like spheres, with small string-like attachments, which are parts of the seed hulls. Quinoa does absorb most of the liquid; therefore, it is easy to flavor by just adding spices and herbs to the water when cooking. For an interesting option, add a teabag of your favorite flavor to the boiling water, apple spice for example, for a sweet quinoa base that you can use for breakfast dishes or desserts.

Nowadays quinoa is available as a flour to use for baking, too. It is easy to incorporate this nutritious seed into our meals, and we have now an even easier and delicious way to enjoy it! Try our recipe for Quinoa Cashew Bites. Quinoa and cashews accent each other’s flavors perfectly in this recipe. These bite-sized snacks are handy for pre-workout snacks, after school snacks or mid-day pick-me-ups. Have fun making them in different molds for special occasions, too! How about trying heart-shaped silicone molds to make some sweet treats for your loved ones?

Quinoa Cashew Bites

Quinoa Cashew Bites

1 cup of toasted quinoa

½ cup of Once Again Cashew Butter

¼ cup of coconut oil

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 tablespoon of unsweetened coconut flakes

Start by adding quinoa to a dry skillet set over medium heat and shake it constantly until you start to hear small pops. Keep mixing quinoa until it is all popped. It takes only 3-4 minutes after the first few pops for the process to be complete. Then remove the popped quinoa from the heat. Let it cool before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients on our list. Mix all well and spoon the combination into molds to set in refrigerator for four hours.  Or place the bites in the freezer for one hour of quick-setting. Remove them from the molds and keep the bites in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Brittle

Earlier this year, several better health and living news outlets reported the scoop about a newly developed urine test that measures the healthiness of a person’s diet. It is a five-minute test that measures biological markers in urine created by the breakdown of foods such as red meats, chicken, fish, fruits, and vegetables. This allows for the evaluation of a persons’ intake of fat, sugar, fiber, and protein.  Although the technology is fantastic to have, one wonders about the usefulness of having such a hi-tech and newfangled test. After all, isn’t a person’s nutritional intake more easily tracked by using old-fashioned food diaries?

Unfortunately, people tend to underestimate their caloric intake and usually inaccurately record the true picture of their diets. Since food records are an integral part of weight management, tools used by health workers when helping their patients, this test could aid in filling in the information gap of some lingering questions. Often an individual struggling to follow a plan needs an incentive. Some speculate that the perceived threat of their physicians finding out about their “slip ups” and “cheat days” may be enough to keep clients on track.

Regardless of how you feel about invasive data being used to track a person’s adhesion to a prescribed plan, we believe healthy eating must be made easier and much more exciting to ensure life-long, healthy eating habits. Often, such eating is associated with confronting flavorless foods, dull ingredients, and absolutely no desserts. But why not broaden the definition of dessert, in particular, to include more than just high-sugar, empty-calorie treats? When a post- meal bite includes ingredients such as chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa, oats, and peanut butter, there is no risk of falling into a chasm of empty calories. These ingredients are filled with nutrients including fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats. They may complete the meal by delivering the reminders of one’s needed daily recommended micronutrient intake, while also satisfying a sweet-tooth.

Whatever plan you are currently following, or healthy habits you have adapted into your routine, go ahead and enjoy this  Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Brittle occasionally, without any worries about  the uncomfortable possibility of having to “explain yourself” after a urine test!

Peanut Butter Quinoa Brittle from Once Again Nut Butter Blog

Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Brittle

4 tablespoons of coconut oil

½ cup of quinoa (uncooked)

¼ cup of whole oats

2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts

2 tablespoons of flax seeds

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

1 ½ tablespoons of honey  (Maple syrup can be a  vegan substitution)

2 tablespoons of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter

¾ cup of dark chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 ½ tablespoons of honey, and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and stir well. Now add the dry ingredients in any order you choose (except for the chocolate). Mix well and spread on a baking sheet using a flat spatula. The mixture should be about ¼ inch thick. Place in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden. Remove from oven and let it cool. In small bowl, melt the chocolate chips, and combine the other 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Pour over brittle mixture, and spread it out in a thin layer. Let it cool and set until it hardens. To speed up the process, place the brittle in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Finally, using your hands, break the brittle into pieces and enjoy! Any leftovers  must be stored in the  refrigerator.

One Bowl Quinoa Dinner: Ready in minutes!

One Bowl Quinoa Dinner: Ready in minutes!

The concept of” cook once and eat twice” is simply fantastic. The ability to prepare dishes and side items that can be tweaked and made into something new for the next meal is a time-saver.  Busy people everywhere  have struggled with the desire to eat home cooked meals, but their schedules have prohibited them from doing so consistently. The good news is that with some planning, it can be done! The recipe shared below is a twist on the leftovers of a previous meal made into a brand new dish put together in literally 10 minutes.

Here is how you can get started adapting your cooking skills to this idea of simplifying home-cooked  meals to serve you twice! When cooking grains, such as rice, quinoa, bulgur and amaranth for example, cook twice the amount you need for one meal. Cook it plain, with only the basic ingredients which are usually water, rice and or olive oil. Save half of the portion in your refrigerator for the next day or meal.

The same idea goes for your protein and veggies. Always cook extra and save —the addition of different spices, herbs and sauces can be done quickly at the time of preparing the meal to give the dish a fresh flavor. Start with a quinoa bowl recipe to practice these skills. For 2 cups of quinoa, you’ll need 4 cups of water, this will give you enough for two  meals and that feeds up to four people. Next, steam your favorite veggies or what’s in season during a particular time  of year. Remember to double up on your portions, so you can save half. For your first quinoa bowl, prepare per  the recipe given below, by adding the veggies with the quinoa, and mixing in a peanut sauce (recipe below).  This dish is a complete meal in one bowl!

Save the  portion of quinoa and veggies,  and mix it up for the next meal , but this time top it with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing, some sesame seeds and chopped chicken (optional) for a completely different dinner. If you are worried about getting enough protein, remember that 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein already, so you don’t necessarily have to add chicken or meat; to achieve a higher protein intake, add edamame or garbanzo beans instead (just ½ cup of garbanzo has 20 grams of protein), which both complement the quinoa bowls very well.

Have fun creating your own one bowl meals that you can cook once and eat twice. Try incorporating different themes such as Italian night by using tomato paste, fresh mozzarella and basmati rice; or Greek style by adding crumbled feta cheese to quinoa and sliced black olives tossed in Greek salad dressing. Share your inventions with us in the comments below.

~Carolina


20150730_215422446_iOSQuinoa Bowl with Peanut Sauce

Serves 4 people

1 cup quinoa
½ red pepper
1 ½ cup matchstick carrots
½ cup chopped spinach
1 tsp. olive oil
Salt to taste

Sauce
3 tbsps. Once Again Peanut Butter
2 tbsps. lime juice
1 tbsps. apple cider vinegar
1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger
2 tbsps. water
Salt to taste

Cook quinoa according to package instructions and then set aside. In a medium-sized pan, add olive oil, carrots, spinach and chopped red pepper and sauté it for 5-10 minutes until all vegetables are tender. To prepare sauce, add all ingredients to small sized cup food processor and mix.. Add more or less water to achieve a thin sauce like consistency. There are two serving options: 1. Mix quinoa with vegetables, add sauce and mix well. 2. Serve vegetable mix on top of quinoa and sauce on the side.One Bowl Quinoa With Peanut Sauce