The New Rice & Beans

Ever wonder who decided to combine rice and beans or why this famous duo exists? Together, rice and beans are a complete protein making it nutritionally ok to eliminate meat from a meal. This is where quinoa, the superfood solution, enters center stage. Quinoa’s claim to fame is that it is a gluten- free, complete protein. One problem, the flavor of this cousin of spinach and beets is not anything to write home about. It is important to not only fully cook these seeds {not a grain- hence it’s G-free characteristic} yielding a fluffy yet chewy consistency, but also to generously season the quinoa throughout the cooking process. I never cook quinoa in plain water— instead I cook it in some sort of  water, stock, citrus juice, combination. After cooking the quinoa is it important to quench the thirst of the warm seeds with an additional flavor-packed liquid.

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Last weekend, I saw Giada De Laurentiis making some quinoa for a luncheon.  I instantly knew that this recipe was a good back bone for my newest quinoa experiment. Another win for Giada- cooking the quinoa in chicken stock and tossing the warm seeds in the cumin vinaigrette after cooking left a flavorful and filling dish. I have been eating this for lunch everyday this week and have still not been hungry around dinner time. Quinoa has incredible staying power and I continue to enjoy finding new ways to decorate the blank canvas that is quinoa.

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I omitted the sunflower seeds, used ground cumin, and after photographing added avocado and plain greek yogurt. The Avocado added a luxurious creaminess while lending its infamous nutty flavor and the yogurt helped create a little more of a dressing. I will spare you a picture of it all mixed together— it is not as pretty 🙂

If you have tried quinoa and are not a fan- was it well-seasoned? Make this recipe, then I grant you permission to cast your vote!

What is your favorite way to make/order quinoa? I have yet to be impressed by any quinoa that I have ordered in a restaurant.

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