Nothing tastes better than southwestern cuisine. Except maybe Italian. Or Japanese. Or Mexican. Or Carribean. Or Greek. Hmmm. Ok, I guess there are a lot of great cuisines. Anyhow, southwestern is definitely among my favourites. Last year I went to Austin, Texas and I was in southwestern heaven, gorging on Texas style BBQ, Tacos and oh so much more. I have always like the bold flavors, bright colors and slightly spicy elements of the southwest. It just seems like happy food.
This past week, I wanted to jazz up my quinoa and thought I would apply the southwest style. Before you can say "quinoa again?!" like a petulant five year old, let's talk about the health benefits of this grain.
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa) is an ancient grain with its roots in the Andes mountains in Peru. It was revered by the Incan people and was a staple of their diet. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants. It is the mother of all grains. How healthy? Check this out:
This is the nutrient content in 1 cup (185 grams). This applies to cooked quinoa:
- Protein: 8 grams.
- Fiber: 5 grams.
- Manganese: 58% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
- Folate: 19% of the RDA.
- Copper: 18% of the RDA.
- Iron: 15% of the RDA.
- Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
- Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
- Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.
This is coming with a total of 222 calories, with 39 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fat. It also contains a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids. (source: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10352/2).
So it makes a lot of sense to add quinoa to your diet. It is extremely versatile and will take on many flavours. This is one if my favourite recipes (so far) So let's get cooking!
Southwestern Quinoa Bowl
For the Quinoa:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups liquid (I used 1/2 water and 1/2 low sodium organic chicken broth)
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp cold pressed organic coconut oil
- Rinse quinoa seeds under water to remove any bitterness
- Add coconut oil to sauce pan and heat. add the quinoa and lightly toast the seeds. (about 1 minute, stirring constantly)
- Add the liquid and bring to a roiling boil
- Reduce heat to minimum and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed
- Turn off heat and leave covered for 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and set aside.
For the mise en place:
- 4 or 5 Spring onions washed and chopped
- 1 green capsicum washed and diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 bunch parsley chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped
- chopped hot peppers (optional)
- 1 can organic black beans rinsed well to remove as much salt as possible ( you can make your own black beans very easily, but I was pressed for time)
- 1 can sweet corn (again I was pressed for time, but I will try roasted corn on the cob next time)
- cherry tomatoes cut in half
- Sprigs of cilantro for garnish
For the dressing:
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
- juice of 1 lime
- a few cracks of black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsps chile powder
Shake all ingredients in a covered container.
To make the bowl:
In a large mixing bowl:
- add the cooked and cooled quinoa
- add all the mise en place except for cherry tomato and cilantro garnish
- add dressing and mix well, but be careful not to make a mush
- scoop into bowls and garnish with tomato and cilantro
See how easy that is? It was absolutely delicious and full of wholesome goodness. You can easily batch this and get a couple of days of lunch. Eat healthy. Cheers
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