Quinoa is a whole grain that has grown in popularity to become a staple grain in healthy diets. I make this quinoa recipe for thanksgiving because it’s hard to make homemade stuffing for only one or two people. With Turkey for Two, this hearty Quinoa with Mushrooms and Dried Cranberries can be a great addition. It’s very easy to make, tastes good, and goes well with roast turkey. If you want a lighter, healthier, side dish this holiday or fall season give this recipe a try.
The Origins of Quinoa
Quinoa is an annual grain native to South America, more specifically, the Andes region. The Andeans began to domesticate the crop approximately 7000 years ago.1 There is some debate concerning the popularity and globalization of the grain and its affect on local consumption in the Andean region. However, researchers argue that in Andean cuisine “traditionally, quinoa is mostly used to thicken soups or drinks (lahua, pesqe) or in the form of small cookies (kispin ̃a, mukuna), and less frequently as main dish (phisara).” 2
Nutritional profile of Quinoa
Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, and minerals. It is high in carbohydrates but filled with complex carbs. These carbohydrates can provide the body with a healthy source of energy. One cup contains 8 grams of protein, 18% of your daily value dietary fiber, 15% of your daily value of iron, and 39 grams of complex carbohydrate. Its nutritional profile makes it an excellent grain to incorporate into your healthy diet.
Easy to cook sweet or savory
Quinoa is easy to cook and combine with a variety of flavors to create sweet or savory dishes. Prepare it with fruit for a hearty breakfast or ground it to produce baked goods. Mix it with vegetables as a side dish or light lunch, or even incorporated into a main dish such as plant-based burger patties. It is also gluten free* which makes it an excellent choice if you have celiac disease or are following a gluten free diet. If you are not familiar with cooking this grain then I highly recommend you give this recipe a try. Click here to purchase a bag for your pantry.
*Check with a qualified medical professional to confirm it is appropriate for you to eat. While quinoa is gluten free, it can processed in a factory which also processes grains that are not gluten-free.