Incas had a big secret, a secret that they didn’t share with anybody. It was about their sacred and secret food – quinoa. A unique crop that helped them keep going for days, even when they didn’t have anything else to eat. It gave them energy and it filled their stomach and they were healthy. The 21st century’s quinoa diet is based on this very simple and powerful seed: quinoa.
Many people think that quinoa is a grain but it is actually not, it is a seed related to spinach and beet. Quinoa is full of fibers and many vitamins that are good for your body. One of its main pros that it is gluten-free so you can still eat it when you have gluten allergy or if you suffer from diabetes. It only contains good cholesterol and vegetable protein. Quinoa will also keep away hunger because it contains slow-release carbs so you won’t feel hungry unlike low carb diets.
Quinoa – pronounced keen-wah – grows in the Andes above 3000m sea level when you buy quinoa in the shop or online they usually come from Peru, Bolivia or Ecuador. Quinoa is a super healthy food and when you are on quinoa diet you cook with quinoa instead of rice. You can make really versatile food from it – from soups to desserts. You won’t get bored that is for sure. There are so many diets out there but most of the time you get bored eating only carrots or lettuce leaves but who said that a diet has to be boring and tasteless?
There are so many great quinoa recipes out there but now I would like to share my favorite quinoa recipes with you.
Curried Quinoa Lentil Soup
- 1/2 big onion
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 medium potato
- half a red pepper
- 1/2 cup lentils
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp. italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1-2 tsp. curry powder
Cut up the onion and saute it in butter and olive oil (mixing olive oil with butter keeps the sweet buttery goodness but is slightly better for you).
Add garlic to it and cook it for a while, until the onions are a bit soft then add the diced potato and stir it.Then add the red pepper and cook it for a couple of minutes.
Add the broth and the lentils and quinoa. At this point just let it simmer on lower heat for about half an hour. Then add the spices and simmer it for a couple of minutes.
This recipe is good for the cold fall or winter days, it is warm and tasty. Serves 2 or more.
If you want to go for something lighter I would suggest making a really easy quinoa salad.
Easy Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/4 fresh orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
Bring 2 cups of water to a bowl and add quinoa. Cover it and reduce to a simmer for 12 minutes. Turn off heat and leave quinoa covered to cool for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, you can make the orange vinaigrette. (It is really easy.) Combine ingredients and whisk it well; season to taste.
When quinoa is ready combine it with cranberries, red onion, almonds, and parsley and toss with vinaigrette. Serves 2 or more.
These are just two examples of the great quinoa recipes that you can make when you are on a quinoa diet. The good thing about quinoa is that you don’t have to spend a day in the kitchen to prepare these delicious dishes.