Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wah) is one of my favorite things to eat. Before it became the trending ingredient that you hear about everywhere, I started using Quinoa in place of rice when I made the decision to live a healthy lifestyle. I did a lot of research on healthy substitutes for rice and at first it seemed like brown rice was the healthiest alternative to white rice. After digging a bit more, I happened upon Quinoa. I was skeptical at first because I had never heard of it and wasn’t even sure where I would be able to buy it. It seemed like something I would have to travel to the ends of the earth to acquire. Luckily that wasn’t the case and I was able to find it without any issues at my grocery store in the aisle that has rice and other grains.
A lot of people do not like Quinoa, maybe because it does have a bland taste if cooked by itself and some people also don’t care for the slightly nutty texture. Rice lovers especially do not want to even hear Quinoa mentioned in their presence or even brown rice for that matter because as far as they are concerned, there is no replacement for white rice. Quinoa however, has so many health benefits that it should definitely be included in your diet somehow. It is also gluten-free for people who are gluten intolerant or are on a gluten-free diet. Quinoa is high in protein and fiber and is a good source of magnesium, folate, zinc, potassium and so much more. It is a nutrition power house and you should definitely give it a chance. I include it in my salads and substitute it in recipes that would normally need rice. It can be used in meat loafs instead of bread crumbs, cooked into oats and eaten for breakfast. The many ways you can incorporate Quinoa into your diet are endless.
I would like to share the below recipe with you and hope you will give it a try and like it. My hubby and son ate every last bit of this recipe and I converted them to Quinoa lovers which says a lot because my son is a picky eater and my hubby used to be one of those rice lovers I mentioned above 🙂
Quinoa with Red Beans and Walnuts
Serves 4 people
2 Cups Quinoa
1 15oz Can Red Kidney Beans
1 Cup Diced Onions
2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
1 28oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
2 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tsp Garlic Powder
2 Tsp Dried Oregano
2 Tsp Dried Thyme
Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Add the EVOO, minced garlic and diced onions to a saucepan on medium-high. Saute for about 2 mins or until the onions are translucent and the garlic fragrant.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, and saute for another 2 mins.
- Add the Vegetable Broth, Red Kidney Beans and all the seasonings.
- Turn the temperature to High. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
- Rinse the Quinoa with water, drain the water and add the Quinoa to the pot and continue to boil in the covered pot, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the Quinoa.
- Lower the heat to Medium and cook with the lid on for about 20 minutes.
- Add the Walnuts to the Quinoa and additional Salt if necessary.
- Turn the stove down to low, put the lid on the pot and cook for another 20 minutes or until the Quinoa takes on a fluffy consistency.
All done. Serve immediately.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Give this recipe a try, I promise you will love it! Follow me on Instagram: @fitinstilettos and share pictures of your Quinoa with Red Beans and Walnuts.