Just about everyone is writing about quinoa these days. In fact, last Fall I saw five different recipe posts with delicious-looking photos of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) and decided that I needed to give it a try (original recipe from Musings of a Housewife that I slightly modified below). I didn’t know what it was, nor did I have any idea about the health benefits of this “Gold of the Incas” health food.
This recipe can be thrown together in 30 minutes or less. You can make it as the main dish, or a side dish. And the best part? Both of my kids eat it! They love picking out the cranberries first and then diving into the rest of the pile of quinoa and sweet potatoes. This recipe has quickly become a favorite and regular guest in our house.
Notes on your health:
- Quinoa is not a grain, but a relative of leafy plants such as spinach, beets, and Swiss chard
- Quinoa is gluten-free, and high in protein, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorous, B2, zinc and manganese
- Because of it’s highly concentrated forms of nutrition listed above, quinoa helps to:
- Relieve migraines, ease hypertension, reduce gallstones, and improve cardiovascular health due to the magnesium content
- Reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer (such as breast cancer)
Carmelized Cranberry, Onion and Sweet Potato Quinoa
1 c quinoa
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or a few more if your kids love them as much as mine do)
1 medium sweet potato (cut into 1/4 inch pieces)
1 medium zucchini (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Roasted slivered almonds (optional – we leave these out because my 1-year old isn’t allowed to try nuts yet)
In frypan on medium heat, saute cranberries, onions, garlic and sweet potato in olive oil until lightly carmelized. This usually takes about 15 minutes. (Add zucchini during last 5-7 minutes of cooking time).
Transfer quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Gently fold in carmelized vegetables and cranberries.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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