What is Quinoa and A Roasted Veggie Bowl Recipe

A Bowl is the easiest and fastest way to get dinner on the table for me. I like to make a batch of quinoa on Sundays to have in the fridge for the week.  It is a simple recipe and a staple to have available for quick, healthy meals. You can change-up your bowl by using different grains, add-ins and spices to change the flavor profile and keep your kids from catching on. I can usually sneak in 3 different bowls in one week.

First, lets talk about Quinoa. What is it and why is everyone eating it? I recently had dinner with a  friend who was telling me she started eating kinowa. Since I live in my own little bubble, I was surprised to find someone who was new to keen-wah. So lets talk about what it is and why we should be eating it.IMG_1914.jpg

Quinoa is a seed that is categorized as a pseudocereal. This term is used for foods that are not grasses but can easily be ground into flour. It is actually a member of the same family as beets, swiss chard and spinach.

Quinoa is a complete protein source unlike most seeds or grains.  It is a valuable source of heart healthy fats.  It has omega-3 fatty acids which help decrease the risk of inflammation related diseases (think asthma, heart disease, arthritis, celiac, to name a few). Quinoa is full of photonutrients and antioxidant flavonoids.  Did I lose you?  Well, these important nutrients also help your body with inflammation and therefore potentially decrease your risk for heart disease and  Type 2 Diabetes.  In other words, it is really good for you. It is easy to make and very versatile.

Quinoa comes in different colors and forms.

White Quinoa is the most common and widely available.

Red Quinoa is a little firmer and holds up well in cold salads.

Black Quinoa is a little sweeter and earthier.

(You can often find them mixed together and labeled rainbow quinoa.)

Quinoa Flakes are created like rolled oats. The whole grain kernel is steam rolled into a flake.  They make a great instant breakfast.

Quinoa Flour is self explanatory.  It is one of the most nutritious grain flours and can be substituted for 1/2 of the all purpose flour in many recipes.

Here is my favorite way to make it.

Basic Quinoa

1 cup quinoa

1 3/4 cup water

Rinse your quinoa really well.  I know this seems like a waste of time, but quinoa has a natural, protective coating that tastes like soap. You want to rinse it!

Add quinoa and water to a pot and bring to a boil.  Once it boils, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes until all of the water is absorbed.  I have an induction top stove and 13 minutes works perfectly me.  Once it is cooked, turn off the heat and put a paper towel between the lid and the pot.  Let it rest for 10 minutes before eating or storing.

Roasted Veggie Bowl

1 bunch of carrots

1 large sweet potato, peeled and sliced

1 clove of garlic, minced

3 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)

1 bunch of lacing kale, stems removed and chopped

2 cups purple cabbage, chopped

1 avocado sliced

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

S & P

Garnish of your choice, for some added crunch – (try hemp seeds, sesame seed, chopped nuts or sunflower seed)

Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Cut carrots length wise and season with salt and pepper to taste and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Lay them out on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until fork tender. Use another tablespoon of olive oil to coat the sweet potato slices and season with salt and pepper.  I love using a rosemary salt on the potatoes. You can roast those along with the carrots, but you will probably have to take them out after about 10 minutes.  Otherwise, put them on their own baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees.

While that is cooking, heat a skillet on the stove top on medium heat and add the rest of the olive oil and garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant and then add the kale.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the kale is softened, about 2-4 minutes. Put the quinoa, roasted veggies, kale, cabbage, chopped spinach and avocado in a bowl and sprinkle about a tablespoon of garnish on top.

SERVES 4

This is your chance to get artistic! You can put the quinoa in the center of the bowl and add your veggies around it, you can arrange each ingredient in a line across the bowl or you can just mix everything together. With all of the beautiful colors, you can’t go wrong! It really is like eating the rainbow.

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Tips: Feel free to roast any of your favorite veggies.  This is also great with broccoli, mushrooms and onions.  Just toss them on the baking sheet with some olive oil and seasoning. Enjoy!

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