I hope you a had a good weekend, what did you get up to? This weekend I did a little cooking, I love trying out new recipes. I was perusing Pinterest the other day looking for healthy meal ideas when I came across stir-fry quinoa (tired of everyday brown pasta and vegetables ahn ahn - time for a change! Btw, I just joined Pinterest and I am quickly becoming hooked, follow me here). It's such a simple idea, how did I not think of it?! Anyway, the recipe came out so good, that I decided I must share.
First of all, what is quinoa?
Quinoa is a grain-like crop. It is tiny and bead-shaped, but unlike other grains it is actually a seed. It can be prepared similarly to wholegrains such as white rice but it's minus the carbs and it also has a "high nutritive value". Some of the wonderful benefits of quinoa include:
- It is rich in nutrients, most especially it is super high in protein. It has all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It also contains dietary fibre, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Packed with all of these, it is very satisfying, keeping you fuller for longer, an excellent option when trying to lose weight.
- It is gluten-free, cholesterol-free, kosher and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
- Quinoa takes less time to cook than most grains, approximately 15 minutes cooking time and very easy to prepare, great for those who have little time for cooking.
My first attempt at making quinoa was a recipe called "Quinoa Tabbouleh", a Middle Eastern dish. The dish was okay, but it didn't totally convince me about quinoa. (I may have over-cooked the quinoa, oops!) I decided to give it one more go with this recipe and it was absolutely delicious and very healthy!
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 250g of chicken - chopped
- 1/2 tsp of salt - divided
- 1 tbsp oil (e.g. vegetable oil, olive oil, coconut oil. I used extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 carrot - chopped
- 1 red bell pepper - sliced
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1 clove garlic (or 1/4 tsp of chopped garlic)
- 1 small red chilli, chopped
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 scallions - chopped
- 1/2 an onion - diced
- 2 Maggi cubes (I used the Knorr variety)
- Rinse the quinoa well and drain (it can have a bitter flavour if not well rinsed).
- Place in a small pot with 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 tsp of salt. Cook the quinoa until the water has been absorbed, this takes approximately 15 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove from the heat, fluff it up with a fork and leave it uncovered.
- Heat your oil in a frying pan, on medium-high heat. Cook your chicken, I added a pinch of salt and 1 cube of Maggi to my chicken, to give it some flavour while cooking.
- Next add in your onion and your carrots, cook until the onions become translucent and the carrot softens up a bit, takes about a minute or so.
- Add in the rest of your ingredients and cook while stirring frequently.
- Add in your cooked quinoa, stirring it constantly and mix it in well with your veggies.
- Serve while warm.