Healthy Food to a Healthier You
Malnutrition and obesity are the most common health problems in today’s world and this is due to the development of unhealthy, artificial food as well as the mass production of different types of meat:
poultry, pork, beef, seafood and so on. To be healthy is a decision but staying healthy is a commitment that you would have to follow throughout your life. It is not easy to dig through the numerous information on how to be healthy and what it means to be healthy, especially due to the influx of information available on the internet however the most important thing is that you know what you want and that you are willing to go through with it. In an attempt to help you find good information, we have listed 4 easy quinoa Recipes that should be a part of your daily or weekly dietary plan.
3 Food Preparation Basics
There are 3 basic things that food should contain:
Taste - It should taste good
Ingredients - It should be prepared using the best ingredients
Nutritious - It should provide the essential nutrients that our body needs
Quinoa perfectly matches this 3 basic things. It sure does taste pretty good; it can be prepared with the best wholesome plant-based ingredients and it is packed with essential nutrients that are good for the body and can impact overall health.
Have a good balance between soft and solid foods in your preparation. Cooking quinoa is very simple and easy. It is a gluten-free versatile ingredient that is very good for your health. It can be added in any meal: breakfast, lunch or dinner and even as part of dessert. The best thing about it is that even if you eat a little, it will give you a fuller feeling in your stomach because it is rich in protein and minerals.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a plant that was originally grown along the Andes region in South America. It is pronounced keen-wah. It is a type of seed that has a grain-like texture and so is usually mistaken to be a type of grain.
Quinoa is gluten-free and is very suitable for a high-carb low fat diet and not only that, it is also rich in protein and other essential nutrients that are good for the body. It is a very wholesome plant-based food.
0.23 g saturated fat
0.53 g monounsaturated
1.08 g polyunsaturated fat
Includes B Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9
3 Common Types
White/Ivory - The most common type of quinoa and is the most recommended if you’re not yet used to eating it as it gives a slight nutty flavor and is the most flexible when it comes to recipes and such.
Red - It has the same exact type of nutrients found in the white or ivory quinoas except that it has a red color but it has a stronger earthy flavor than white.
Black - It has a more earthy and nutty in flavor compared to red and white
4 Easy Quinoa Recipes Good for Your Diet
Keeping it Simple and Plain
Quinoa is already packed with nutrients, carbohydrates, protein and fiber, it is important to keep it as plain as possible - adding less oil and less sugar or salt and keeping things whole.
1. Plain Cooked Quinoa
Before cooking quinoa, it has to be washed and soaked for about 10-15 minutes to get the bitter taste off due to its coating (saponin). Once soaked, rinse well with water then you can have it cooked.
1-2 cups of dried quinoa (any type)
Note: 1 Cup of Quinoa: 1 1/2 cups of water
Step 1: Get the soaked and rinsed quinoa and put it into the pot.
Step 2: Bring to a boil and let it simmer under low heat for about 15 minutes. Once the water is absorbed then open the lid and give it a quick stir and set it aside to let it cool off.
Step 3: You can eat it as is or add herbs and spices to your liking and then eat it with your favorite fruits.
Tip: Sea salt can be used as added flavoring and is organic
Creative Quinoa Recipes
Aside from eating plain quinoa, it’s also great to spice it up a little and add healthy ingredients and make a wonderful meal or dish while making sure that it is still wholesome and healthy. It can go with anything and can be a perfect side dish to any viand or ingredient. It is also called a pseudo grain because its appearance is akin to rice, wheat and other types of grain except that it is a seed.
2. Quinoa Fresh Vegetable Salad
Nothing beats a fresh and healthy type of salad. In this recipe, quinoa is mixed with the typical herbs and ingredients for a vegetable salad and can be perfect for your breakfast or lunch.
1 - 1 1/2 Cups of Cooked Quinoa
1-2 stalks of green onions, sliced
1 Bell pepper, Diced
1-2 medium sized carrots - grated and chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp Honey or Maple syrup
1/2 cup raisins
2-3 Lettuce leaves (as toppings)
Step 1: Place the cooked quinoa in a bowl.
Step 2: Add all the ingredients: green onion, bell pepper, carrots, mint leaves, raisins and parsley then mix them well together.
Step 3: Top with lettuce and squeeze over some lemon juice and add the honey or maple syrup on top.
Step 4: Serve and enjoy! This serves 2 people but you can always add to the ingredients ifor more servings.
3. Quinoa and Steamed Veggies
Enjoy this simple recipe that is just a mix of steamed vegetables but instead of rice, they’re eaten with quinoa which is a healthy substitute.
1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked Quinoa
1/4 cup Broccoli
1/4 cup Cauliflower
1-2 Carrots, sliced into 1x1 thick strips
1/2 cup Baby corn
1/4 cup Peas in a pod
Most vegetables have pesticide or herbicide and just to make sure they are fresh and clean from any chemicals, it is best to soak them first prior to cooking them.
Step 1: Soak the vegetables in 2-3 cups of water with salt for about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Rinse off with clean water twice
Steaming the Vegetables
Step 1: Boil 1/2 - 1 Liter of water
Step 2: Once the water is boiling place the colander on top of the pot and place the vegetables on the colander.
Step 3: Cover the colander with a lid and let the vegetables steam for about 4 -5 minutes then check if the vegetables are tender. You can let them boil for another 2-3 minutes if they’re not yet cooked.
Step 4: Mix the vegetables with quinoa. You can add a pinch of sea salt or just a dash of pepper for added flavor, mix then eat. This makes 2 servings.
Tip: You can top it off with green onions, basil or mint
4. Quinoa and Oatmeal
Have a dose of healthy breakfast in a bowl with this quinoa recipe mix of oatmeal and healthy fruits.
4 qt Cooking Pot
2 cups of red Quinoa (Can be white as well but the color makes it appetizing)
1/2 cup Coconut milk
2 cups Steel cut oats
2 tbsp Almond butter
1 tbsp of Cinnamon
1 pinch sea salt
5 cups of water
Honey or Maple syrup
Optional: Blueberries, raisins or nuts
Step 1: Bring the water to a boil in a 4qt saucepan or pot under medium high heat. Add a pinch of salt.
Step 2: Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa and the oats and give it a quick stir. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Let the oats and quinoa cook for about 10-20 minutes.
Step 3: Open the lid and give it a quick stir before adding the coconut milk and let it simmer for another 5 minutes with the lid.
Step 4: Remove from heat and add the cinnamon and almond butter. Mix well together and leave it with the lid on for another 5 minutes.
Step 5: Give another stir. You should see that it is now supposed to be creamy. Transfer into a bowl. Add some sliced banana pieces and blueberries or nuts on top and sprinkle with honey or maple syrup if you want a sweeter flavor. Makes 2-3 servings.
Tip: Nuts can be cashew nuts or almond nuts. You can also add sunflower seeds and other berries like raspberries and strawberries.
10 Commandments of Eating Food
Aside from adding certain ingredients and removing some from your diet, here are 10 good food habits that would help you on your road to healthy living.
- Chew slowly.
- Eat regularly during constant time intervals.
- Eat with a cheerful attitude. A happy heart is like good medicine for both the body and soul.
- Drink lots of water all day. Replenish, cleanse and maintain the water levels of your body.
- As much as possible, eat food prepared in the simplest manner.
- Use natural sweets instead of sugar.
- Use natural or organic ingredients.
- Eat fruits and vegetables that are in good condition - not overripe or underripe and never the almost going bad.
- Prepare and combine food that is wholesome and at the same time nourishing.
- Make use of foods in season as they are practical and inexpensive due to their abundance.
Why Quinoa Recipes Should be Part of Your Diet
A dietary plan is not just necessarily for weight loss but it is also for you to be able to plan your meals beforehand and make sure that they are as healthy as possible. You can incorporate the quinoa recipes that we have highlighted as of your diet because they can help you get the nutrients you need and also help you in finding healthy alternatives to your usual starchy and sugary meals. We hope that you would be able to fulfill your health goals. It’s cliche but health indeed is wealth and eating whole plant foods are a good start to your journey.
EL Mehdi is the founder of Desired Cuisine
and a simple food enthusiast who was born and raised in Morocco. Growing up in a country that is full of herbs, spices and various types of delicious food, he decided to pursue different types of food and recipes around the world.