Last fall, I visited one of my best friends, Lindsey, and her husband Tim in Toledo. I can always count on them for some tasty, healthy meals. This time, I was told we were having marinated shrimp with keenwa. Uh, wait a second…I had to ask: what is “keenwa”? After a quick tutorial (and a peek at the bag), I realized “keenwa” is actually the health super-food I’ve read so much about (but pronounced very incorrectly in my head): quinoa. And let me tell you, just after that one meal, I was hooked.
In honor of the healthy-eating initiatives going on in the Bowers house right now (hello beach vacation in two weeks!), we have been trying to incorporate quinoa into more meals. This hasn’t been very hard to do, since quinoa can be used in so many different ways!
1. Substitute for rice in just about anyway you use rice. We had ours with a stir fry (check out a quinoa stir fry recipe here).
2. Cheesy Quinoa Bites – thanks to Pinterest, I found this yummy recipe. Good for a meal or appetizer.
3. Soup – we added cooked quinoa to tomato-basil soup, along with some cooked, cubed chicken breast.
4. Breakfast – for some quinoa “oatmeal”, mix 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 banana sliced. Heat in a small skillet over medium until most liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and top with chopped walnuts, more banana slices and a little maple syrup. Looks and tastes SO good (and it’s very filling).
5. For south-of-the-border taste, try mixing cooked quinoa with a can of diced tomatoes with chiles, black beans and a little cumin to taste. We added a little lime juice, too.
If you have any more ideas, I’d love to hear (and eat) them!