I'm talking about quinoa today! Mmmm, quinnnnoaaaaaaa.....
Quinoa: the weird grain with a weird name, right? Quinoa has become a staple in my kitchen because of so many reasons: it's highly nutritious, it's easy & quick to cook, it's got a neat little nutty flavor, & it tops the chart on versatiility. I loves me some quinoa!
Quinoa (pronounced "KEEN-wah") is a gluten-free whole grain that, in my opinion, acts a lot like rice (but way more nutritious & way quicker to cook). High in the good plant-based kind of protein, quinoa also offers a good dose of fiber & iron, and it even provides the rare combination of all 9 amino acids essential for nutrition. Quinoa is most definitely a superfood in my book! Eating quinoa does a body good! And then get this - not only are they uber healthy, they've made themselves even harder to resist by coming in a rainbow of colors! Don't you just love that? The most common colors I've seen are black, red, and white (really more of a cream color), and in my experience, they all cook up pretty much the same. I, personally, usually use white quinoa. I like the way the plain color of the white quinoa lets my other add-ins to the quinoa pop more & makes it all look more delish!
I've been having a lot of fun lately with quinoa. Just this morning, I created this delicious, nutritious, colorful, hearty, 100% plant-based quinoa breakfast bowl in just 5 minutes.
I had some leftover quinoa from the other morning, which made this a breeze to whip up. Even if you don't have leftover quinoa, a quick 15 minutes on the stove will get you fresh & piping hot quinoa. (Deets later in the post on the quickest & best way to consistently cook great quinoa.)
I heated up the quinoa in the microwave (you can also use a stovetop) & then added bits of every kind of fruit I had in the house. I ended up with a bowl of strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, and bananas. I topped it off with sliced almonds & a healthy dose of chia seeds, both of which I always have in my ktichen. Mmmm, chia seeds - another superfood! I'll be doing a blog post later on chia seeds, but if you just can't wait (and really you shouldn't - go read about them!), this is a great article all about chia seeds & the bennies of adding them into your diet.
Ok, back to quinoa.
There you have it - the quinoa breakfast bowl, one of the easiest & most delicious ways I've found to get more quinoa in my diet. This meal is completely 100% vegan & plant-based.
If you've not tried quinoa, do your body & yourself a favor by picking it up & trying it. This sweet & nutty breakfast bowl is a great way to start (or keep!) eating quinoa, but quinoa is so super versatile, you can use it for a variety of meals. Here are a few of my favorite savory recipes that use quinoa:
Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing from Ambitious Kitchen
100% vegan & gluten-free. I make this ALL the time! So delicious.
Slow Cooker Lentil Quinoa Tacos from Amuse Your Bouche
To find an easy 100% vegan recipe that slow cooks well is just heaven to my ears, and this one does just that. I really like this recipe. Good & hearty & oh so nutritious & delicious!
That's it. Yes, it's that easy.
So all you out there not eating quinoa, stop whatever you're doing right now & go buy some! Ok, so maaaaaybe not that. But instead, right now maybe you just go put it on your grocery list to pick up next time you're shopping. That & some fruit are really all you need for a different & nutritious kind of breakfast tomorrow. Whatever kind of add-ins you do past that (chia seeds, hemp seeds, almond or other non-dairy milk, walnuts, almond slivers, you name it!) are all bonus increases to the nutritiousness & deliciousness of this 100% plant-based breakfast.
Whether you're toying with the idea of eating a more plant-based diet, or are already eating a plant-based diet but want to add in more whole grains & nutritiousness & maybe a new recipe of two, adding quinoa in all its versatility into your diet is something to consider. Your heart (and your body) will thank you for it.
Until next time....
Peace, y'all. And be kind to one another.