After a long week of festival time and loading with lots of deep fried snacks and sweets, it was time to have something simple, healthy and nutritious. I wanted something loaded with veggies and protein and simple to digest. So, I opted for, Quinoa Bowl cooked in Mexican style. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids.
What is Quinoa ?
Quinoa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a grain crop primarily for its edible seeds. Lets see its correct pronunciation —— ” KEEN-wah “. Nutritionally, quinoa is considered a whole grain. Whole grains include the entire intact grain seed without removing any of its parts.
These days, you can find quinoa and quinoa products all over the world, especially in health food stores and also available in most natural food stores.
It is grown in rainbow colors: white, red and black. Taste and nutrition aren’t key distinguishers; instead, white quinoa tends to cook up fluffier, while red quinoa and black quinoa have a crunchier texture and the grains don’t tend to stick together as much.
How to Cook Quinoa?
Cooking quinoa is as simple as cooking rice.This hearty grain cooks quickly. Use this simple ratio to measure out your ingredients:
2 cups liquid
1 cup quinoa
First wash quinoa in running water and drain it properly. Its prefered to bring the cooking liquid to a boil. Stir in the quinoa, then turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer gently, until all the liquid is absorbed or approx 15 minutes. You’ll know when the quinoa is done because it will look like it has popped open, revealing the germ of the kernel, it loves to expand in water.
One cup dry quinoa yields 3 cups cooked one.
For other Mexican dishes on my blog click here:
- 1 Cup Dry quinoa
- 2 Cup water
- 1/4 Tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 Tsp garlic powder/ minced garlic
- Salt to taste
For Fajita / Vegetables
- 1 green capsicum washed and cut into juvillen
- 1 yellow/ red onion peeled,washed and cut into juvillens
- Few Broccoli florets
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste
- 2 Cups Pinto beans(soaked in enough water for 6-8 hours)
or you can take a readymade Can of beans to save time.
- 1 medium tomato chopped finely
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- pinch of Asafoetida
- 1 tsp garlic powder/ minced garlic
- chopped cilantro
- Avocado thinly sliced
- cilantro leaves
- chopped green onion
- In a pan boil 2 cups of water.
- Add in 1 cup of quinoa, washed and drained nicely.
- Add turmeric powder, garlic powder and salt to taste.
- Stir in all ingredients, then turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer gently, until all the liquid is absorbed or approx 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow the cooked quinoa to sit and stay covered for at least 5 minutes. This step enables the last bits of water to be absorbed and let the steam and heat generated in the closed pot to finish the cooking process. This will ensure that the seeds are cooked through and become translucent in appearance. Use a fork to separate and fluff up the cooked quinoa.
- Soaked pinto beans in enough water for 6-8 hours. Drain the water.
- I have used pressure cooker to make them tender.
- Take water as much as beans are covered exactly into it. Refer 1 pic below:
- Add oil, Asafoetida, garlic powder,salt, paprika and tomatoes. Pressure cook for 3 -4 whistles on medium flame.
- Add cilantro when cooked
If you have ready can of beans then
- Drain the water from can.
- Heat a pan on medium flame, Add oil, Asafoetida, garlic powder/minced, followed by chopped tomatoes.
- Let tomatoes become mushy, it will take 1-2 minutes.
- Then add beans, salt, paprika powder and mix properly. simmer pan closed for 5 minutes.
- Close the flame and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro
- Heat a non stick pan on medium flame and drizzle oil over it.
- Add all vegetables. Saute it till Onions are Translucent.
- Then add Salt and Crushed Black pepper and mix well. Put off the flame.
- Assemble the bowl according to your wish. Quantity can be taken as much or as little as per our wish and taste.
- I like to layer a bed of puff quinoa
- Top it with Fajita/ cooked veggies, Beans, Chopped white onions and greens and finally creamy Avocado slices.
Quinoa is also referred to as supergrain, provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- These help regulate the digestive system and keep you fuller and more satisfied.
- All nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.
- One half cup of quinoa has 14 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
- Two flavonoids that have been particularly well studied are quercetin and kaempferol, both found in high amounts in quinoa.
- In fact, the quercetin content of quinoa is even high er than in typical high-quercetin foods like cranberries.
- Quinoa is naturally gluten-free.
- The glycemic index of quinoa is around 53, which is considered low.
- Use exact water ratio for fluffy cooked Quinoa.
- Use any type of beans as kidney or black beans
- Different veggies can be included as zucchini, carrots, corns and mushrooms.
- If you find it dry, use hung curd/ greek yogurt.