Happy Monday, everyone! It isn’t very sunny in the city today but I am still ready to start the cycle towards a healthier life! I hope that you got the chance to read our last post of this two-part series. If not, check out Tiny Grainy Babies: Part 1! As promised, here is Part 2 where we will be discussing the comparative health benefits of couscous and quinoa. The prize for the winning grain will be a full day’s worth of recipes containing the healthiest grain!
And the Winner Is…
I wanted to do a lot of research to find out which grain is healthier. After scrolling through chat rooms, forums, and articles I have discovered which grain is the healthiest. There wasn’t much debate on which grain was healthier– nearly every article and forum said the same thing about the healthiest grain. The super grain and reigning champion is (drum roll please)… Quinoa!
Quinoa is healthier than couscous because although quinoa is higher in calories and fats, it is richer in fiber, and protein. The amino acids found in quinoa give it that extra advantage, making quinoa the healthier grain. Here is a picture for an even better comparison.
Blisstree.com rated quinoa and couscous on a grading scale and said that couscous is a C+ and quinoa is an A+. The only downside to quinoa is that it can be more expensive than couscous, but as with all foods the healthier option usually isn’t the cheapest option. Another great thing is that gluten-free eaters and those with celiac disease can eat quinoa but cannot eat couscous. Quinoa keeps you fuller for a longer time and is the reigning champ. Here are four recipes to celebrate this terrific little seed! I’ve found a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert that all have quinoa in them. I hope you give these recipes a try and let us know what you think! Have a great Monday and remember to eat more quinoa!
Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes (from theworkoutmama.com)
- 3 cups cooked red quinoa
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup vanilla greek yogurt (I use Trader Joes)
- 1/3 cup of milk of your choice
- 1 fresh lemon squeezed
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 bag of frozen blueberries (I use the wild organic blueberries from Trader Joes)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa, flour, and baking powder. In another medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, milk, and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine.
- Add vanilla and lemon juice and whisk again. Rinse frozen blueberries under water and drain. Next gently fold in blueberries.
- Lightly coat a large skillet with butter or cooking spray and heat over medium. Drop batter by 1/4 cup onto skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on top. Flip and cook until golden brown on underside. Repeat.
- Makes about 12-14 pancakes. Your taste buds will soon be thanking you. Enjoy!
Quinoa and Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes (from diethood.com)
- 8 medium ripe tomatoes
- salt, to taste
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 6 cups fresh spinach
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- parmesan cheese
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375. Slice off 1/2 inch of the stem end of the tomatoes and hollow out the inside.
- Slice just a small section off of the bottom of the tomatoes so that they will sit flat on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt in the hollow portion of each tomato and place hollow side up on a baking sheet. Set aside.
- Place water and quinoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Heat oil in a frying pan and add spinach. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until just wilted.
- Mix in the garlic and parsley, cook for a minute longer, and remove from stove. Add cooked quinoa to spinach; mix well. Taste for salt and pepper.
- Evenly divide the filling among the tomatoes. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove foil, sprinkle tops with parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve.
Quinoa Chilli [Vegetarian] (cookingclassy.com)
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced (1 3/4 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups water (or chicken broth if not making vegetarian)
- 1 (7 oz) can diced green chiles
- 2 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used one dark red, one light red)
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- Heat olive oil in a large enameled cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot add onion and saute until tender, about 4 minutes, adding in garlic during last 30 seconds of sauteing. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, cooked quinoa, water (start with 1 1/2 cups then add more later if desired), green chiles, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, paprika, sugar, coriander, cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot and allow to simmer 30 minutes.
- Add in all beans, corn, cilantro and lime and cook until heated through. Serve warm with optional toppings and sides (cheddar, sour cream, diced avocados, saltine crackers or tortilla chips).
Moist Quinoa Chocolate Cake (chefinyou.com)
- 2/3 cup Quinoa
- 1-1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup 1 % fat Buttermilk
- 2 large Eggs
- 4 large Egg Whites
- 1 tsp pure Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 cup Coconut Oil, melted and cooled, see Tips
- 1 cup Coconut Sugar, see Tips
- 1/2 cup Cane Sugar, see Tips
- 1 cup unsweetened Cocoa powder
- 1-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
For the Raspberry Coulis:
- 1 lb (450 grams) frozen Raspberries
- Honey to taste
- Fresh Raspberries to garnish
Combine the Quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and set aside the covered saucepan for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a large bundt pan. You can use room temperature butter or shortening (or vegetable oil). I use a tissue to apply the grease all over the pan making sure to cover the indentations.
- Since this is a chocolate cake, I use Cocoa powder instead of flour. Just sprinkle about 1 tsp of the powder and pat the pan, gradually rotating it so that the powder sticks to the pan wherever you have applied the grease.
- Set this pan aside. If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can also use two 8-inch (20-cm) round or square cake pans. Don’t forget to line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- Combine the buttermilk, eggs, egg whites and vanilla in a blender or food processor by giving it few whirls. Add 2 cups of the cooked quinoa and the coconut oil. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar(s), cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the contents of the blender and mix well until combined. A nice folding action is more than enough. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake on the center oven rack for about 50 mins (or 40 to 45 minutes for the smaller round/square pans) or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan before serving.
- While that’s cooling, lets prepare the coulis. Add the frozen raspberries to a saucepan and heat in medium-high. If adding fresh raspberries, add few tbsp of water.
- Bring it to boil and cook until it becomes a sauce. Should take about 10 minutes.
- Strain the puree well. and sweeten it as desired with honey (or any other sweetener of your preference)
Tip: Turn out the cake into a serving plate. You can frost this if desired. It keeps well stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen up to 1 month. I served it lightly dusted with powdered sugar, coulis and few fresh raspberries.
We care about you all so much that we tried to find the best quinoa recipes, so give them a try and tell us what you think. Have an awesome Monday!