Although quinoa is technically classified as a pseudo-cereal grain, it is a world-famous "supergrain" that has become even more popular in recent years due to its incredible nutritional content.
Pronounced KEEN-wah, quinoa is packed with protein, fiber and a range of vitamins and minerals. It’s high protein content (8 grams per cup) will help you to stay full and satisfied throughout the morning, in addition to keeping your blood sugars stable. It is also gluten-free, which makes it an excellent choice for people who are on a gluten-free diet.
Often used as a substitute for rice, quinoa is the seed of a plant called Chenopodium quinoa. This plant is native to Peru and grows in the Andes Mountains. It has been a staple to South American people for hundreds of years. The word ‘quinoa’ translates to "mother grain" in the Incan language.
Quinoa belongs to the same family as beets, spinach, and chard, and has many culinary uses. It becomes soft and fluffy when cooked, and has a pleasant nutty taste. It can be made into flour, flakes, and other products such as bread and gluten-free pasta.
Red peppers are also a nutritional powerhouse! These bright fruits contain more than 200 percent of your daily vitamin C intake. Red peppers are also packed with powerful antioxidants, which help to fight harmful free radicals from damaging your cells. They’re a good source of vitamin B6 and folate, both of which can help prevent anemia.
The excellent beta-carotene content of red bell peppers means they also support eye health, especially night vision. They’re also a source of vitamin K1, which is highly beneficial for blood clotting and bone health. An interesting bonus is that red peppers have a mild thermogenic action that boosts metabolism without increasing your heart rate and blood pressure.
Red Peppers are not spicy like chilli peppers, so they’re much easier on the digestive system.
Otherwise known as sweet peppers or capsicums, bell peppers are delicious eaten raw or cooked. Bell peppers are easy to grow in your garden at home, but they’re also readily available in your local green grocer or supermarket.
This quinoa salad can be a tasty side dish, but it can also be a main meal. Just add a few more veggies.
Quinoa is such a high quality source of protein that you don't need to add any meat or fish. The stock also adds lots of vitamins and minerals that you might not be getting elsewhere.
Cook for 20 to 30 minutes until soft and blackened on the skin in areas.
Add the stock, bring to the boil and add the quinoa.
Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for around 20 minutesuntil the quinoa is cooked.
Fluff with a fork and stir through the red peppers and chopped basil.
Top with pine nuts.
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