I am assuming by now everyone has heard of quinoa. It’s the new black of the grain world, even though some others are trying to stomp it out (barley, bulgur etc…) I can’t really remember when I first tried it, but I know I liked it. I mean, it really doesn’t taste like anything. The little granules have a nice little crunch to them, but not that “ew this is a raw piece of rice” crunch. They also allow sauces and spices to adhere well to the pieces therefore taking on great flavor.
So like I said you probably heard the name quinoa, but do you know how great it is for your health? No? Well read on for some fun facts about the grain.
+ Did you know the grain is from the GOOSEFOOT species?
+ Quinoa is actually a seed.
+ The food has earned it spot on the prestigious SuperFood list.
+ It is a great source of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids
+ Gluten allergy? No worries here, quinoa in gluten-free.
When it comes to grains, I typically am grabbing the couscous off the shelves at the store. Lately, I try to avoid carbs so rices and pastas haven’t made an appearance on my dinner plate. However, after religiously documenting my food intake with My Fitness Pal I noticed my daily fiber being rather low. After reading some articles, I decided that quinoa would be the best grain to add to my diet – high in fiber (keep me full longer), high in protein, and lower in calories.
So be prepared to see the good old quinoa around this blog here often in upcoming posts. First on the menu, Mexican Quinoa Bake. Hearty enough for a meal or satisfying as a side dish served with tacos (leave out the black beans). This casserole has a bit of a heated punch to it, but not too powerful. The quinoa absorbs the flavors and gives tremendous texture.
Mexican quinoa bake
Recipe By: Sara
Servings: 6-8 [depending on entrée or side] /// Prep Time: 5 minutes /// Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 cup dry quinoa
1 can Southwestern style dice tomatoes
2 Tbsp taco seasoning or 1 packet
1 small can of diced green chilis
1 cup frozen corn
4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese + 1/4 cup for topping
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 can black beans, drained [optional]
sour cream, hot sauce
1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa and stir to combine.
2. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook covered for about 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
3. In a casserole dish, combine the diced tomatoes, chilis, seasoning, corn, 4 oz. cheddar and beans if using.
4. Add the cooked quinoa and cilantro, stirring everything together.
5. Top with more shredded cheddar and a bit of the cilantro.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
7. Put on broiler and let cheese brown for about 30 seconds.
8. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or hot sauce.