Wednesday, February 23, 2011
“In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights.”
Oh wait….you want to know how to pronounce it too? Well, according to my research, it can be pronounced one of two ways: “KEEN-wah” or “kee-NO-wah”. I opt for the first pronunciation, since that’s the one I hear others use the most.
So after hearing about how wonderfully nutritious and high in protein quinoa was, one day I passed by a big bag of it at Costco and I couldn’t resist picking it up and trying it for myself. Unfortunately, in my laziness, that bag just sat and sat and sat for months….until one day I came across this recipe on Picky Palate. I decided it was time to give it a try and boy was I glad I did. Not only is the stew delicious and nutritious, but I got to see first-hand how easy quinoa is to prepare (faster than white rice). I absolutely loved the texture the quinoa added to the stew and I loved thinking about how good it was for us as my family gobbled it down eagerly. Thanks to Jenny for a great recipe! Enjoy!
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2-1/2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 large zucchini, quartered and sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1 can (15-oz.) diced tomatoes
2-1/2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed into 1" pieces
1-1/2 cups cooked quinoa (a grain that is cooked similarly to rice and can be found in the cereal aisle near the oats)
2 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked, shredded and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tsp. hot sauce
Kosher Salt, fresh cracked black pepper, Garlic Salt, and parsley to taste
3/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
Directions: Cook quinoa as directed on package.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Sauté onion, celery, carrots, peppers, and zucchini until softened. This takes about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Increase heat to high just until broth starts to boil. Reduce to medium high and cook potatoes for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Reduce heat to low and stir in quinoa, shredded chicken, Dijon mustard, hot sauce.
Season to taste with kosher salt, pepper, garlic salt. Stir in fresh parsley and simmer until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings. Enjoy!