Jennifer Aniston loves it. Gwyneth Paltrow can’t get enough of it. High in protein, gluten-free, packed with amino acids, fibre, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin B6 and Omega 3s, and with a low GI that keeps you fuller for longer, quinoa is the fitness food for 2013 that everyone is talking about (the UN has even declared it the International Year of Quinoa!).
It’s a good choice for those wanting to lose weight prior to WLS and the perfect protein packed food for afterwards.
I think it needs a good robust treatment for serving …adding herbs, citrus juices, spices and flavoursome dressings for best effect. Add equally tangy roasted vegetables and crumbled strong cheeses for a main meal dish or serve alongside some baked, grilled/broiled or steamed fish, seafood, poultry or meat for added nutrition.
The recipe here uses pearl and red quinoa (I like the Quinola brand which also comes in a black variety from Peru) … not least because they work directly with smallholders of Cabana in the foothills of the Andes, north of Lake Titicaca, and employs people with learning difficulties to package the quinoa. It is quickly cooked and then mixed with a refreshing lime, mint and courgette/zucchini mixture. It tasted wonderful alongside a piece of grilled/broiled fish and fabulous the next day when tossed with some cooked chicken.
QUINOA WITH LIME-MARINATED COURGETTE /ZUCCHINI AND MINT
50g/2 oz red quinoa
200g/7 oz pearl quinoa
juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
lime quarters and mint sprigs to garnish
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the red quinoa and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pearl quinoa and cook for a further 12 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Drain thoroughly.
2. Meanwhile, peel or slice the courgette/zucchini into thin ribbons and place in a bowl with the lime juice, mint, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Leave to marinate while the quinoa is cooking.
3. To serve, mix the courgette ribbons and their marinade with the quinoa. Serve garnished with lime quarters (for squeezing) and mint sprigs.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
V suitable for Vegetarians
Image courtesy of Quinola www.quinola.com