So, I did some research. Quinoa, pronounced "keen-wah" was thought by the Incas to be sacred. They pretty much considered it gold and used it to keep their warriors strong. Many people think that quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a grain. It is actually a seed that is relative of green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.
So, what is all the hype about? Let's talk health benefits. Quinoa is unique in that it is a complete protein. This means that it contains all nine essential amino acids. This includes lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Quinoa is a great option for vegans and vegetarians because of the protein it provides. Quinoa is also rich in manganese, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, iron and copper. It has been shown to be helpful in relieving migraine headaches and in promoting cardiovascular health. It's fiber content also provides benefits that aid in protection against breast cancer, childhood asthma, and gallstones. It has also been shown to aid in weight loss. Research suggests that quinoa may be beneficial in lowering risk of type 2 diabetes. It is also chock full of phytonutrients that provide all sorts of health benefits. This information was taken from the WHFoods Website, Wikipedia, and the Daily Burn Website. There is a lot more information out there for you to research if you are interested!
Alright. So, we know it is beneficial to eat ... but the real question is ... how does it taste? I decided to give it a shot by adapting a recipe for Roasted Cheezy Broccoli over Golden Saffron Quinoa that I got from the Happy Healthy Life Website. Boy am I glad I did! I would have avoided this recipe for several reasons in the past. We've already covered the quinoa part. On top of that, the recipe called for maple syrup ... read: sweet stuff in my food. I am all for a good dessert here and there, but I usually hate when there is sweet stuff mixed into my food. I have challenged that recently by adding fruit to my salads, which I now love. So, I have decided that I have to hold back my judgment as best as I can when choosing my recipes these days. The other reason I nearly didn't make this recipe was that it called for Saffron. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Seriously, it really is. I'm not making that up. It cost me $12 for a very small jar. I nearly didn't buy it, but I had all my meals planned out for the week and I didn't want to mess this recipe up. So, I caved and bought it. I know I will be using it again, and you only have to use a tiny bit at a time, so it not really a huge deal in the long run. Plus, it is yummy.
Dinner turned out AWESOME. I cannot believe I have made it this long without trying quinoa! I loved the texture and taste. There are so many different ways to cook it and all sorts of recipes. I can't wait to try them all. On top of that, it was EASY to cook. You heard me right ... I said EASY. It was just as easy if not easier than a box of rice or pasta, but SO much better for you. Seriously, there is absolutely no reason to run from this food. It is a delicious little secret that I am thrilled to finally be in on!
The recipe for tonight was GREAT. I loved the sauce on the broccoli, maple syrup and all. It added just a tiny bit of sweetness ... mmmmmm. This was also the second time I have used nutritional yeast, and it was perfect. It added a nice cheesy, nutty taste. Plus, it is full of B-12, which is really important to get if you are a vegan or a vegetarian. Overall, great easy dish that took me 20 minutes to prepare, tops. I will definitely be making this one again!
Roasted Cheezy Broccoli over Golden Saffron Quinoa
- 1 and 2/3 cups water, salted
- 1 cup plus two tablespoons dry quinoa
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron
- 4 cloves garlic pressed through garlic press or minced
- 6 cups broccoli florets
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast, divided
- cracked black pepper to taste
- garlic salt to taste