Who says healthy isn’t flavorful? Well that was me a few years back. I was skeptical of “healthy” until I lived with a roommate (Elle) who lives and eats healthy. I credit her for introducing me to organic and alternative ways to enjoy good food. She knew I was big, big, big on rice. It comes with the territory — being Filipino and being used to eating rice with every meal, it’s hard to go without it. She suggested eating quinoa seeds to replace rice grains in my diet, to which I politely obliged and ended up loving it!
According to Wikipedia, quinoa has a high protein content within the range of 12% to 18%, and unlike wheat and rice, it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it an unusually complete food. It’s a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also gluten-free and considered easy to digest. How’s that for a healthy addition to your meals?
I cook quinoa every now and then, ‘sneaking’ it into our meals to make them healthier. This time, we just had it with veggies. I just roasted vegetables, taking a few things that seem ordinary on their own. They added up to a really nice flavor with every bite. You get some crunchiness from the broccoli, and a bit of ‘meatiness’ from the mushrooms. This colorful roasted mixture went on top of quinoa tossed in 1/4 tsp garlic powder for a delicious, healthy, filling, and beautiful dinner. It would be great with some meat or whatever you like, but it’s great and satisfying on its own already.
Here’s a sneak peak of the cooking process:
QUINOA WITH OVEN ROASTED VEGETABLES
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeds removed, sliced into 1/4″ strips
- 1/2 green bell pepper, seeds removed, sliced sliced into 1/4″ strips
- 6 button mushrooms, sliced into quarters
- 6 baby carrots, sliced into quarters
- 1 package (a handful) of broccolini
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked in 2 cups of water and 1/2 tbsp of butter
- extra virgin olive oil
- Set your oven to “Broil”.
- Put the bell pepper strips in an oven-safe pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper. Toss them together so the strips are coated with oil. Place in the oven and broil for 5 minutes.
- Take the pan out of the oven. Add the mushrooms and carrots. Add more olive oil and toss. Broil for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the rest of the other vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Broil for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss again.
- In a big bowl, toss the cooked quinoa with garlic powder.
- Place quinoa on a serving plate and top with the roasted vegetables. Enjoy your healthy dinner!
Tips for Cooking Quinoa:
- Rinse it thoroughly in warm to hot water, at least 3 times to get rid of the bitter flavor/stuff/coating.
- Add half a tablespoon of ‘butter’ (we use Earth Balance Buttery Spread) for every cup of quinoa.
- Cook using one part quinoa to two parts water. You can use a rice cooker to cook it, but remove it from the heat once the indicator shows it is cooked, then toss with a fork to keep it from burning. Leave it uncovered for 5 minutes to let the remaining liquid evaporate.