Quinoa [keen-wah] is all over the place, it's a rice replacement, a binder in veggie burgers, and a breakfast oatmeal substitute. Quinoa is a goosefoot grain found in the Andes, where it was widely cultivated for its edible starchy seeds before the introduction of Old World grains (Webster Dictionary). Quinoa's seed portion is the edible part that we eat today and it is used in gluten free diets. It is packed with fiber and it is a complete protein perfect for vegetarians and vegans. It is usually prepared by boiling it in water so it can absorb and expand, otherwise it can also be sprouted overnight when it is left to sit in water. Once the seed absorbs the water it expands and it's spiral tails spread away from the seed and add to their unique appearance. Quinoa has numerous benefits a few are that it is high in Vitamin B, rich in minerals, and assists with colon health due to it's high amount of fiber. It is a very versatile ingredient and can be eaten in savory and sweet dishes. Below is a savory mexican quinoa salad that is colorful, simple, and fresh. Mexican Quinoa Salad
Serves 4 Ingredients: • 1 cup quinoa cooked • 1 – 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed • 1 – 14 ounce package of frozen corn, defrosted • 1/2 of a large red bell pepper diced • 4 green onions diced • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro • 1 lime juiced • 1/4 cup olive oil • 1 teaspoon ground cumin • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Directions: 1.Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions. When the quinoa is done cooking, fluff it with a fork, transfer it to a large bowl, and allow it to cool completely (about 15 minutes). 2.In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, ground cumin, black pepper and salt. 3.When the quinoa has cooled, add in black beans, corn, red bell pepper, chopped green onions, and cilantro. 4.Stir in dressing and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Recipe adapted from: http://centercutcook.com/southwest-quinoa-salad/