We are also trying to cook more and experiment with foods we haven't tried before. I started reading some "healthy food blogs" a while back and got inspired seeing all the cool healthy (and delicious) food that's out there. Eating "whole foods" really seems to help with weight and health because it's natural things that you are putting into your body and not some weird chemicals.
So I will be doing a new series on the blog - Friday Food Finds, where I will post a new receipe that we tried or created, featuring a cool food that may be unknown or uncommon to alot of people. First up...Quinoa!!Quinoa (pronouced KEEN-WAH) is techinically a seed, but it reminds me of sort of like rice or cous cous. Some people mistake it for a grain, but it is actually a relative of a leafy green vegetable, as it grows on a plant. Quinoa has tons of health benefits and nutrients, it's biggest being that it's a really good source of protein and amino acids. It is also high in magnesium, iron, and B12. It's been show to help aid in migraine management and high blood pressure.
Nutritional facts for Quinoa (1/2 Cup uncooked):
2.5 grams of fat
2.5 grams of fat
Total Carbs - 20 grams
Fiber - 3 grams
Protein - 6 grams
To cook quinoa, you boil it, just like you would rice or cous cous. It takes about 15 minutes. After it's cooked, it becomes sort of translucent in color. It's slightly chewy and has a little bit of a nutty taste. You can use quinoa to replace rice or pasta in soups, salads, casseroles, etc. I found some quinoa at Trader Joes, but I believe they even sell it at a regular grocery store in the health food aisle.
Wednesday night, we decided to open our box of quinoa and make a salad to use as a base in a whole wheat wrap.
1 Cup of cooked Quinoa
2 Thin Sliced Chicken Breasts, grilled. (if using regular chicken, probably just 1 breast)
1 Can of Navy Beans, drained (white beans)
1 Can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 Cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (less if you don't like things spicy)
a few dashes of tabasco (again, leave this out or use less if you don't like spicy)
a dash of cumin
Salt and Pepper
Instructions-- Boil the quinoa for 15 minutes, until it's tender and translucent (basically follow the directions on the box). Place it in a large bowl and add all the other ingredients (could it get any easier???). Chill for at least 1 hour before eating.
We ate our salad wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with some baby spinach leaves. Really, you could throw in whatever you like or had on hand and then season it with anything. It was super filling (I'm sure the chicken and beans helped with the protein factor), but it didn't leave me filling super full or bloated/fat. And this recipe made a TON of salad, so we have been eating it all week.
So we will definitely be incorporating more qunioa in our diets and I recommend at least trying it! YUM!