Monday, October 18, 2010

3 Simple & Low Calorie Quinoa Recipes

quinoa recipes

A few years ago, I hadn't even heard about Quinoa. Its one of those things that you ignore unless someone or something forces you to look at it with a different perspective. For me, the search for feeding something healthy and nutritious to my toddler is exposing me to a wide variety of foods which I would otherwise fail to notice! And Quinoa is one such recently discovered gem. [Image via Wikimedia]

Filled with protein and other nutrients good for brain development, this easy-to-cook this super-grain is a great addition to any healthy diet plan. I have to admit, it wasn't especially appealing in taste. However, like any other healthy recipe, you have to compromise on taste a little bit - but who knows, it might easily strike a chord with you! Luckily, there are plenty of versatile ways to enjoy it. These 3 simple recipes with Quinoa, courtesy of Australian Lifestyle Fitness, has made it easy for me to incorporate Quinoa into our daily diet. These are all very nutritious and tasty recipes; I especially like the Breakfast Quinoa, as it suits kids well. The Bean & Capsicum curry is more for adults, and will go well as a great main or side dish.

1. Quinoa with Spinach and Feta
This is a light and tasty dish that can be used as a side or as a main meal. Each serve has only 239 calories, but it’s packed with 7.4 grams of protein- a perfect healthy addition to your diet!

1/2 cup raw Quinoa, washed
1 cup water
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups spinach, washed and chopped
40 grams light feta cheese
1 tsp olive oil

Put the quinoa and water in a pan and bring to boil. Cover and cook until the water is absorbed. Heat a fry pan with the olive oil, and gently cook the garlic. Add the spinach to wilt. Add the cooked quinoa to the pan. Roughly crumble the feta and add that as well. Gently mix together and serve as a healthy side dish!

2. Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa
Start your day out right with this healthy and delicious breakfast quinoa. With only 228 calorie and 8.9 grams of protein, it’s a guilt free treat that will keep you feeling full and energized all throughout the morning.

1/2 cup quinoa, washed
1 cup natural apple juice
1 cup light soy milk
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 cup raisins

Bring the apple juice and quinoa to boil in a medium pan. Let simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Add the soy milk, cinnamon and raisins. Cover and let simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla essence. Serve hot or cold!

3. Quinoa with Beans and Capsicum
For a more exotic twist, try this spicy bean mix. Make it hotter by adding in more spices to your taste. This meal has 317 calories and 11.5 grams of protein, making it a great filling meal for lunch or dinner.

1/2 cup quinoa, washed
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium red capsicum, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 can black beans or kidney beans
1/8 cup chopped cilantro

Bring the quinoa and 1 cup of the broth to boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Cook the garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper and cumin over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and capsicum and cook until tender. Stir in the beans and the remaining 1/4 cup of broth. Cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and serve immediately.

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