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6 Sep

Quinoa has the most protein of any grain, and the highest fat content. It’s a great source of vitamins & minerals.  Quinoa is higher in lysine than wheat, and is considered a complete protein. Quinoa is not really a grain; it is a seed belonging to the Goosefoot family. We cook and eat it like a grain, so that’s why it’s known as a grain.
Red or White? White quinoa is most common, red is less common and more expensive. Red quinoa is harder and holds its shape better, and it has a stronger more earthy taste. Some people think it is more nutritious, but as far as I can tell that’s not necessarily so.

Nutrition Data  1 cup cooked quinoa: 185g: 222 cal; 39g carb; 4g fat; 8g protein; 5g fiber; iron 15% DV; Good source of: Vit E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese; estimated glycemic load 18

**Because of its high fat content, quinoa should be stored in the fridge or freezer so it doesn’t go rancid.

To Soak or Not to Soak Quinoa: Quinoa naturally comes with a bitter coating called saponin which must be rinsed off. Most quinoa that you buy in the U.S. has been pre-rinsed and dried, but I usually soak it 5 minutes just in case, to loosen up any residue of saponin, or dust or chaff that remains. Skip soaking if you like, but always rinse quinoa.

Quinoa Cooking Directions:

1. You’ll need a 2 quart pot with a tight fitting lid, and a fine mesh strainer

2. Double the recipe if you want to have leftover quinoa for another meal or two

3. Optional: Soak the quinoa for 5 min in the cooking pot. Soaking helps quinoa to cook evenly, and loosens up any residue of saponin (usually removed in processing), which can give a bitter taste

4. To Rinse: Stir the quinoa with your hand, and carefully pour off the rinsing water, using a fine mesh strainer at the last.

5. Drain quinoa well in the strainer, transfer to the cooking pot, add 1 1/2 cups water & 1/4 tsp salt if desired. No salt will make quinoa softer and fluffier, a little salt will make it firmer and it may take a couple extra minutes to cook.

6. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer.

7. Cook for 15 minutes.

8. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on.

9. Fluff quinoa gently with a fork and serve 🙂


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Pressure Cooker Directions:

1 cup quinoa to 1 1/4 cups water

1. Rinse quinoa, add to pressure cooker with water and 1/4 tsp salt if desired.

2. Lock lid on high pressure setting. Bring up to pressure, reduce heat to simmer, cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.

3. Use natural pressure release

What To Do With Cooked Quinoa:

When I cook quinoa I always make a double batch so I have some left over in the fridge or freezer toquinoa-bb2-150x150 use in other quinoa recipes.

Use the basic quinoa recipe above as a starting point, and substitute quinoa for pasta or rice in almost any meal.

See my favorite Quinoa Recipe, Quinoa & Black Beans HERE


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

5 Sep

This is one of my very favorite guilty pleasures. BUT, not too guilty, because it is gluten free and vegan 🙂 I like to serve it with red and green apple slices for dipping. I also like to eat it right from the bowl! Mmmmmmm!

This recipe comes from the wildly popular blog full of healthy deserts: Chocolate Covered Katie

 Cookie Dough Dip

  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas or white beans (1 can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
  • 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter
  • up to 1/4 cup almond milk, only if needed
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup ( Stevia, honey, or other natural sweetner to taste)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips or carob chips
  • 2 to 3 tbsp oats ground (or flaxmeal)

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a good food processor (not blender), and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.

For more picture and specific directions & a sugar-free version go to Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Blog!!

For more awesome healthy dessert recipes go to Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Blog NOW!!


Quinoa with Black Beans

5 Sep

I LOVE this stuff!!!  This is a great recipe if you are trying quinoa for the first time.

AND this is what I ate for breakfast the morning of my first triathlon (Yes, it’s THAT good!)


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup grape tomatoes sliced in 1/2
1 chopped Avocado


1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans.
4. I always leave the tomatoes, avocado, and the cilantro on the side so they can be mixed in each serving individually. That way, if there is some leftover I think it stores better.

*** This is even good cold! Love to make extra for my lunch the next day.

Spicy Baked Chickpeas

5 Sep

A Healthy Workday Snack: Spicy Baked Chickpeas

recipe from: The Daily Muse

Spicy baked chickpeas are an easy healthy. Seriously—all you have to do is toss some chickpeas together with olive oil and whatever spices or herbs you’re in the mood for, a little bit of salt and pepper, and then bake. That’s it! And, if you’re like me, you usually have an extra can of chickpeas hiding away in your pantry, so you can make these any time you’re hit with a snack attack.

Chick peas are low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. They is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Folate and Manganese. Before the extra oil or seasonings (watch the salt by the way- don’t be too heavy handed)  One 15.5 oz can  of chick peas has  385 calories, 21g Protein, 21g Fiber, 7g  Fat, and only 1g Sugar.

The basic recipe & some extra ingredient variations are below.

chick peas

1. Rinse one can of chickpeas under running water, then dry with a paper towel.


2. Pour onto a baking sheet and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and ¼ tsp red pepper flakes. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through.


3. They’re ready when they’re crispy and golden! Serve warm with an extra sprinkling of salt.

There are so many different options you can try with these, so experiment with any ingredients you have on hand. Or, try these yummy combinations:

  • Paprika + cayenne pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar + garlic
  • Lime juice + chili powder + cumin
  • Lemon juice + ginger
  • Cinnamon + honey (light on the honey)
  • Thyme + rosemary
  • Curry powder + garlic
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