The Top-Secret Superfood

Change It Up
Try mixing the cooked quinoa with any of the following combos:

A sliced avocado, the segments of one grapefruit, a handful of chopped green onions, and the juice of half a lime. Goes great with grilled fish.

Half a cup of dried cranberries, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 2 Tbsp crumbled blue cheese, and 1 Tbsp each balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Two cups of baby spinach or arugula, 8 oz grilled chicken, and ? cup roasted red peppers.

...as a Stuffing
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

6 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 tsp cumin

Handful chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

2 red bell peppers

1. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the previous page.

2. While the quinoa simmers, heat the olive oil in a saut? pan over medium heat, and add the onion, garlic, and tomato. Cook the mixture until the tomato is soft and the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp, black beans, and cumin, and cook for another 3 minutes, until the shrimp is just pink and firm. Add the cooked quinoa and cilantro, stir to blend, and turn off the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

4. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Stuff each with half of the mixture, place them in a baking pan, and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

Makes 2 servings

Per serving: 375 calories, 28 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 10 g fiber, 291 mg sodium

Change It Up
Replace the shrimp, cumin, and cilantro with two links of chicken sausage and a 6 oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts.

Replace the shrimp with 8 oz lean ground beef or ground turkey.

Go Greek: Trade the shrimp, cilantro, cumin, and black beans for lean ground beef, a cup of frozen spinach, and 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese.

...as a Risotto
1 tsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup uncooked quinoa

3 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas

2 oz prosciutto, cut in thin strips

Salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese for grating

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saut? pan or saucepan over medium heat, and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent and the garlic is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

2. Add the quinoa and cook for another 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock, using a wooden spoon to occasionally stir the grains. When the liquid is mostly absorbed (about 10 minutes), add the remaining chicken stock. Continue cooking and stirring until the quinoa is tender (but not mushy) and most of the liquid has evaporated; the risotto should be moist, not soupy. At the last minute, add the peas and prosciutto. Stir until warmed through.

3. Remove from the heat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Before serving, grate a bit of Parmesan over each portion.

Makes 4 servings as a side dish, or 2 as a main course

Per serving: 252 calories, 15 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 3 g fiber, 372 mg sodium

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