Let’s learn…about Quinoa!

Good-bye Travelers! 

Thank you to all our “tourists” last week. We met a lot of new people and enjoyed sharing our tasty treats. Don’t forget to use your “souvenir” (10% off one deli item coupon) in the coming week.

Have you heard of quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)?

Most quinoa is grown in South America. Ours comes from Peru. It’s one of our favorites. A friend introduced it to us and at first I had no idea what to do with it. We found out you can use quinoa as a rice/pasta substitute, for breakfast pudding/porridge, or for a salad. I’ve tried multiple recipes and included my favorites below. The pancakes not only taste great, but are perfect for all those with allergies. Just don’t forget to rinse quinoa well before you cook it. Otherwise, it tastes bitter.

What is so great about quinoa besides it’s a fun word to say?
  • It’s really good for you. While it’s considered a grain, it’s very high in protein (unlike other grains). It’s also very rich in nutrients (manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate and tryptophan) and has anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Quinoa cooks up very quickly – usually 15 minutes.
  • It’s allergy free. Serve it to your gluten free guests.
Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Cranberries & Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Serves 8-10
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes (I substitute sweet potatoes)
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning squash
2 cups quinoa (available at The Country Cupboard)
4 cups water
Pinch of salt
1 cup dried cranberries (craisins) (available at The Country Cupboard)
1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) (available at The Country Cupboard)
For the Citrus Honey Dressing:
Juice of 3 large oranges
Zest of 1 large orange
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey (available at The Country Cupboard)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place butternut squash on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss until squash is well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 30 minutes, turning once, until tender.
2. While the butternut squash is roasting, cook the quinoa. Rinse quinoa very thoroughly. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let cool quinoa cool to room temperature.
3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, butternut squash, dried cranberries, and pepitas. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, zest, olive oil, and honey. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle over quinoa salad. Toss until ingredients are well dressed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Lemon Raspberry Quinoa Pancakes (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

1 cup quinoa
3/4 cup milk or almond milk
2 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp flax seed + 3 tbsp water
1 tbsp coconut oil (you can substitute butter)
1 tbsp coconut sugar (if I use sweetened coconut, I omit this or you can substitute sugar)
1/4 tsp sea salt
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, chopped small
coconut oil for the pan
(Most ingredients available at The Country Cupboard)

Soak the quinoa in water overnight, or for a few hours. In the morning, drain and rinse well. Heat a large pan or griddle over medium heat. Get all your ingredients ready so you can add them in all at once. Add the soaked grains to your blender and add all the other ingredients except the baking soda and raspberries and blend until smooth. Add the baking soda and blend quickly to combine. Pour the batter into a container with a spout for easy pouring and stir in the chopped raspberries. Grease your heated pan with coconut oil. Pour batter into pan, making medium sized cakes. Cook until bubbles cover the entire surface of the pancakes and the edges appear dry. Flip and cook for another couple minutes. Continue until all the batter is used. Serve warm with maple syrup. Makes apprx. 12 pancakes.

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