Quinoa Pilaf - A Healthy Super Food Recipe

 By: Janna Boulat
Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa is another miraculous product. The year 2013 was officially declared as "The International Year of the Quinoa" by Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. I have several quinoa recipes on my healthy recipes web site because not only quinoa is a superfood, it is also very tasty if cooked right.

Quinoa is famous for having a high-protein content, which makes it a great cholesterol-free and low-fat source of protein. It can be said that quinoa is a complete protein source if we look at its amino acid profile. However, the protein content in cooked quinoa is less than 5%.

Quinoa is being researched for its anti-diabetic qualities. Quinoa contains high levels of biologically active phytochemicals, which have been implicated in plant defence from insects. They have also shown a range of beneficial pharmacological effects in mammals. There was research conducted to find the best leaching process in order to effectively release concentrated bioactive phytochemicals from quinoa seeds. This was done to provide an efficient method to produce a food-grade mixture that may be useful for anti-diabetic applications.

Let's hope the quinoa we buy in the shops is not leached! Cooking in water is the helthiest way to prepare quinoa. According to Dr.Fuhrman.com it prevents the formation of acrylamide, a potentially toxic compound formed while dry cooking.

Quinoa pilaf is an ideal lunch meal, especially for those who take their own lunch to work. If quinoa pilaf is transferred into sterilised dry containers immediately after cooking completes, it can be stored in refrigerator for a few days.

Quinoa Pilaf Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups white quinoa
1 small fennel
1 large capsicum
2 small eggplants
2 medium zucchini
1 brown onion
10 small mushrooms
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 cloves garlic
grape seed oil, as desired
salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper

Preparation:

1. Cook 2 cups of white quinoa in salted water as per instructions on the package. (Suggested 3 cups of salted water.)

2. In this step you need to cook each vegetable batch with seasoning and enough timing to your taste as you would have cooked it on its own. Stir fry coarsely chopped veggies in separate batches, and cook them in the following order:

fennel (low, 7-10 minutes)
onion (high, 3-5 minutes)
zucchini (medium, 7-10 minutes)
capsicum (high, 5-7 minutes)
mushrooms (sprayed with oil, high, 3-5 minutes)
eggplant (use more oil, medium, 7-10 minutes)

Put aside each cooked batch.

3. Clean the wok and saute crushed garlic until fragrant, but do not fry it.

4. Add the lemon juice and cayenne pepper to the cooked garlic and mix well.

5. Immediately combine all ingredients in the wok including quinoa and cooked vegetables and heat through.

Enjoy your meal!
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