Here are 5 fast facts about one of the most versatile superfoods; Quinoa:
- Quinoa is not a member of the grass family, therefore it is not grain. It is in fact a seed.
- Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that is a complete protein, meaning it is a source of all 8 essential proteins.
- Quinoa is gluten free.
- Unlike most grains, quinoa is very anti-inflammatory (simply put it supports good health) due to both its high levels of omega-3 fats and antioxidants.
- Quinoa will make you happier! It is a good source of tryptotphan a precursor to serotonin; one of the feel good brain chemicals.
Savoury or sweet, quinoa is easy to slip into so many recipes. Try it today in my salad fit for any cold December day.
- 1 small Butternut Squash
- 3/4 cups Quinoa
- 1 small red onion
- Small Bunch Kale
- 1/3 cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- The juice of half a Lemon
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Prepare squash: peel, remove seeds and cut into 1 1/2 cm cubes. Spread out on a baking pan, sprinkle with cumin and paprika and season to taste. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Roast in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
Rinse quinoa in warm water, until the water runs clear. Combine quinoa in a pot with 1 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the quinoa begins to boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes more.
Finley chop red onion and kale and place in a large bowl with the cranberries.
Toast pumpkin seeds in a frying pan over medium-high heat, until the seeds become slightly puffed and golden.
Pour the warm squash, quinoa and pumpkin seeds in to the large bowl the kale. The heat from these ingredients will work to slightly steam the kale. Cooked kale rather than raw is always a nice gift for your thyroid.
Combine the honey, lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk while adding the olive oil to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour dressing over salad and toss.
Even pre-dressed this salad keeps well in the fridge. Make a big batch and pack it for a quick and healthy lunch!
By Elizabeth Whalley, RHN