Sunday, March 09, 2014

An introduction to Quinoa

I gave up carbs/sweets/breads/starches/all that is good and wonderful in this world for Lent.

There was a part of me that was thinking I was making a bid deal out of nothing.

Five days in and I am going through what I can only imagine is a heroin-esque like withdrawal. I think about bread all the time. I want cookies, I want chocolate, I would give up my entire family for a half dozen cupcakes and a loaf of french bread.

But I've stayed strong, because I am quite the stubborn little mule and impressively enough, my baby brother is still in it to win it too.

Since he is just getting started in the carb-alternative game, this post is for him.

Why quinoa is your new best friend.

Quinoa is rice's better for you, more yummy cousin. It takes the same amount of time to cook and can be eaten with anything. Anything. All the benefits. None of the carbs. Plus bonus protein, iron and fiber (mmm, you love fiber).

Tonight we ate it with some cuke, red bell pepper and feta cheese. Easy Cheesey. Here is a list of some other things you could mix with it and make a crazy delicious side (or main course):

-sweet potato, kale, and chicken
-avocado, black beans, tomatoes
-bell peppers and lemon juice
-carrots, edamame, and cranberries
-spinach, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts (with bonus steak if you're feeling crazy)
-strawberries, goat cheese, and arugula
-broccoli and cheese

Mix and match any of these things or literally anything you want. When making a bowl of food, add this. If oatmeal is your jam in the morning, switch out the oatmeal for this, add in some brown sugar, a few nuts and berries and a banana if you are playing like a champion - and BOOM, breakfast. Bye.

Also, I checked and Price Chopper totally carries quinoa. So no complaints about it being too fancy for your neck of the woods.

Some reminders:
-always, always rinse it in cold water before cooking
-let it cool for a minute and then put it in a bowl before making it all fluffy with a fork. It will stick together if you leave it in the pot/microwavable bowl.
-a cup of dry quinoa makes a shit ton of cooked quinoa so plan on throwing it in everything for a couple days. You won't regret it and it will make you miss rice that mich less.

One week down, six to go.

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She's pint-sized and amazing.