Simple ways to eat quinoa for healthy living

Noida, Oct 6 (IANS) Consume quinoa, a full of protein, nutritious, easy to digest and gluten-free food item, either plain or as an ingedient in a grain salad, an expert suggests.

Executive chef Vijayant Rawat of Mosaic Hotels here has shared five easy ways to include more quinoa into your every day eating:

* Just plain: Quinoa has a lovely nutty flavor, and it can boil in less than 20 minutes, so it’s a great alternative to pasta or rice for a quick meal. Use quinoa just as you would any other grain, like rice or barley. It makes a fantastic side dish for almost any meal, especially if cooked it with broth instead of water and add a bay leaf to the pot. It can also be used in breakfast porridges, and salads.

* Stuffed into vegetables: Quinoa makes a great stuffing. We can enjoy quinoa and mushroom stuffed with zucchini. Grilled zucchini is usually assigned the lesser role of a side dish, adding a hearty grain stuffing raises it to a main course. For the filling, quinoa is cooked in a mixture of cashews, garlic, and seasonings that are mix together until thick and creamy, and then the whole thing is stuffed into hollowed-out zucchini. Serve with a vegetable salad for a healthy and enjoyable meal.

* Substituted for another grain: It has a similar texture when cooked to other superior and fluffy grains like bulgur wheat. So it’s great substituted in dishes that call for bulgur, like in this quinoa tabbouleh. Quinoa is first toasted to deepen its flavor, then cooked by the absorption method and combined with herbs and vegetables. This dish can be finished by drizzling a tablespoon of good-quality, strongly flavoured olive oil on top just prior to serving. White quinoa is the most common variety, but red quinoa is also available and has a nuttier taste. They can be used interchangeably.

* In a grain salad: Quinoa is a fabulous base for easy, quick, filling grain salads. Use quinoa as the basis for a light, whole-grain salad. Toss cooled quinoa with lightly diced tomato and cucumber, minced parsley, olive oil and a bit of lemon juice for a refreshing warm-weather side dish.

One of our favorites is this Organic Chicken quinoa salad. Combine it with a mixture of organic garlic clove, organic chicken breasts, parmesan cheese, thinly chopped red onion, tomato, unsalted butter, and avocado and mix warm quinoa and a bit of organic lime juice. Cook on low heat and once cooked remove it.

* For breakfast: Quinoa’s high protein content and fast cooking time makes it an immense breakfast. Boil quinoa as you would oats, using twice as much milk or water as quinoa, until it’s gentle and the outer germ begins to spiral away from the seed.

For an appetizing, satiating breakfast, mix almonds, chopped apple, raisins, cinnamon and a pinch of brown sugar into a hot bowl of quinoa and top it with a plain yogurt. Other ingredient options include chopped dates , dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, sliced banana fresh berries, ground flaxseed , diced peaches, , pumpkin seeds, honey and maple syrup.

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