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Column: Can quinoa grain be a complete source of protein?

2:25 PM, Aug. 28, 2013  |  Comments
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Have you seen recipes with quinoa lately? This ancient grain is gaining popularity. Quinoa itself is similar to rice and is about the size of couscous. This tiny whole grain is a good source of protein, iron, and fiber. It also is considered a "complete protein," making it a good choice for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa can be used in several different salads, casseroles and side dishes. Quinoa cooks quickly in about 20 minutes, making it an easy addition to your meals.

Try this recipe from Cooking Light Magazine:

Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

Ingredients:

? 1 3/4 cups uncooked quinoa

? 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

? 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

? 2 cups water

? 1/3 cup dry white wine

? 1/2 teaspoon salt

? 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

? 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

? 1/2 cup dried sweet cherries, chopped

? 1/2 cup dry-roasted pistachios, chopped

? 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

? 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preparation:

1. Rinse and drain quinoa. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Add 2 cups water, wine, and salt to pan; bring to a boil. Add quinoa; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat; set aside, and cool slightly.
2. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add quinoa, cherries, and remaining ingredients; toss gently to combine. Serve warm or chilled.

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