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Quinoa

Makes 3 1-cup servings

Quinoa (“keen-wah”) comes from the high plains of the Andes Mountains, where it is nicknamed “the mother grain” for its life-giving properties. The National Academy of Sciences has called quinoa “one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom” because of its excellent amino acid composition. Quinoa cooks quickly, and as it cooks the germ unfolds like a little tail. It has a light, fluffy texture and may be eaten plain or used as a pilaf or as an addition to soups and stews. The dry grain is coated with a bitter-tasting substance called saponin, which repels insects and birds and protects it from ultraviolet radiation. Quinoa must be washed thoroughly before cooking to remove this bitter coating. The easiest way to wash it is to place it in a strainer and rinse it with cool water until the water runs clear.

1 cup dry quinoa
1 cup boiling water

Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve, then add it to boiling water in a saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, then cover loosely and cook until quinoa is tender and fluffy, about 15 minutes.

Per 1-cup serving

  • Calories: 212
  • Fat: 3.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
  • Calories from Fat: 14%
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Protein: 7.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39 g
  • Sugar: 3.5 g
  • Fiber: 3.3 g
  • Sodium: 17 mg
  • Calcium: 39 mg
  • Iron: 5.2 mg
  • Vitamin C: 0 mg
  • Beta Carotene: 3 mcg
  • Vitamin E: 0.9 mg

Source: Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Cancer by Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D.; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.