Quinoa was first domesticated by the Incas thousands of years ago, and although it’s thought of as a grain, it’s actually a leafy green vegetable like spinach that’s cultivated for its seeds. It’s a great source of plant protein (one cup has about 8 grams) and is easily digestible and gluten-free. It has a slightly nutty taste, similar to brown rice. This protein-packed nutritional powerhouse is also high in magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Start your day on the right note and enjoy the benefits of a steady flow of energy.
SERVES 4 TO 6
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
¼ cup diced yellow squash
¼ cup thinly sliced carrot rounds
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup whole or ground sesame seeds
¼ cup coconut milk, almond milk, or hemp milk
Sprinkle of cinnamon
HOW TO COOK THE QUINOA: In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa well with cool water until the water runs clear. This will remove the outer coating, which can give it a bitter taste. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat, and bring the mixture to a light boil for 5 minutes, and then simmer, covered, for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, covered. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork.
FOR THIS RECIPE, when the quinoa first starts to simmer, stir in the squash, carrots, raisins, walnuts, and sesame seeds (or other nuts, seeds, and dried fruit). Add the plant-based milk after cooking, to achieve the desired consistency. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Recipe by Elise Museles of Kale and Chocolate. First appeared in Gutbliss (Penguin 2013).