Celebrate Quinoa!

By Maggie Rulli 01.16.2013 blog

After hearing that the U.N. declared 2013 the Year of Quinoa, I’m sure the number one question on everyone’s mind is: “How do we celebrate?”

Well funny you should ask, my friend,… because I’ve got a whole menu lined up for us! We’ll be eating quinoa for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert! Get excited!

But first, let’s backtrack just a bit. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN – wah) is a seed that’s closely related to spinach and other leafy greens. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals, and it’s an awesome source of protein. And those are full-on, complete proteins I’m talking about – meaning quinoa is one of the few vegan food sources that contains all the essential building blocks of protein your body needs. People have known about the awesomeness of quinoa for a while now. Back in the days of the Incan Empire, warriors relied on it for strength – and if it was powerful enough to enable them to defend their massive empire, just think about what it could do for you on the soccer field.

Alright, now that you’re all caught up – let’s get to the delish part. As promised, here’s your day of quinoa. Don’t worry – quinoa is seriously one of the simplest things to cook up – it’s just like pasta or rice! My method? Great step-by-step instructions over at this blog: http://www.thekitchn.com.

Breakfast Quinoa

Get a good jolt in the AM from a morning dose of quinoa – prepared just like your favorite bowl of oatmeal. I love mine with almond milk, cinnamon, almonds and blueberries. Here’s another take over at www.tablespoon.com.

Lunch Quinoa

I normally keep my quinoa lunch simple and just let the seed do its thing: Plain quinoa, a little olive oil, a pinch of salt and a whole lotta pepper. But if you need a little help getting the whole lunch table to try your quinoa dish, warm them up with this one: Quinoa Mac and Cheese. www.Tastykitchen.com gives classic mac a quinoa makeover.

Snack Quinoa

Gotta love sneaking in some extra quinoa during the day… I mean, it is it’s year after all! So keep quinoa’ing all day long with a pocket full of Quinoa Granola. www.dailybitesblog.com has a crunchy recipe for you.

Dinner Quinoa

My favorite way to turn a quinoa dish into an impressive dinner plate? Put it in a squash! Over at Cocomamafoods, they pair quinoa with a butternut squash.

Dessert Quinoa 

I celebrated my birthday a few weeks ago, and obviously I was most excited about baking a birthday cake, and obviously that cake involved quinoa. There are a few recipes online, but I picked out this one from  www.natureinsider.com. (*Note – I’m not a huge fan of orange in chocolate, so I kept my cake orange-free)!

Dessert Quinoa #2

Heck… it’s the YEAR of quinoa, let’s eat our dessert twice! Over on www.QueenofQuinoa.me there’s an awesome recipe for Chocolate Quinoa Pudding that will finish off our day quite nicely.

Let me know if you try any of these recipes, or better yet – make up some of your own!! Happy eating, and happy Year of Quinoa – let’s celebrate!

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