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Within the last few years, there seems to be a buzz around a new health food in clean eating, and health fanatic circles.  So, it begs a few questions: What on earth is quinoa?  Is it good for you?    What do you do with it?  Is it hard to use?  Is it a good food storage item?  I will answer all of these questions for you about this mysterious food.

What is Quinoa?

A common misconception is that quinoa is a whole grain; however, quinoa is actually a seed.  It can be classed similarly to barley and rice and has similar nutritional value.  Because of it’s high protein content, it is wildly popular with those following vegetarian and vegan diets.  Because of its ability to grow at high altitudes, it was commonly consumed as one of  the staple foods of people living in the Andes mountains.  Today, it is becoming more and more popular all around the world as people realize its health benefits.

Is it good for you?

Yes! But why?  To start with, it houses all 9 amino acids, which as mentioned before, makes it a great form of protein.  It is gluten and cholesterol free, as well as kosher.  According to Forbes, it is “The supergrain of the future”.  That’s a pretty powerful statement I think.  In addition to the aforementioned benefits, quinoa is high in fiber, in fact twice as dense with fiber as most other grains.  Would I recommend replacing the rice accompanying your orange chicken dinner with quinoa? Yes.

What do you do with it?

What I’ve found is that several people like to use it in place of rice with their favorite meals.  We already know that white rice is not good for you, and some people don’t like the texture of brown rice.  Quinoa provides a great solution to this problem.  It is popular in casseroles and foods such as stuffed peppers and soups.

Is it hard to use?

No!  You can cook quinoa in your rice cooker or on the stove.  It doesn’t get any simpler than throwing it in the rice cooker, but even on the stove, it cooks in 10-15 minutes; much quicker than most other grains such as rice.

Is it a good item for your food storage?

If this is a food that you enjoy eating, you are in luck.  When it comes to food storage and emergency preparedness supply, quinoa is a great addition.  We’ve already addressed its nutritional properties, which is a huge benefit when choosing emergency food supply.  But in addition to its nutritional benefits, it has a great shelf life of 2-3 years PAST the printed date.

RECIPE:  Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green chiles, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheeses, cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Spoon the filling each each bell pepper cavity. Place on prepared baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

 

 

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