I remember the first time I cooked quinoa; I felt like I was preparing some very exotic dish from a foreign land. This was quite a few years ago when I volunteered to test a new recipe for my friends over at Meal Makeover Moms for their upcoming cookbook. The recipe contained toasted almonds, apricots, and spices that sounded delicious to me. The thing is — it had to also be “kid-friendly”. So, I enlisted my somewhat big kids to help prepare and taste the recipe. They loved it and so did I!
Since then I’ve prepared many different quinoa recipes – stuff peppers, pilaf side dishes, salads, and more. It’s become a staple food in my house. This is the very first dish I made with my kids years ago – Crunchy Quinoa with Apricots and Almonds.
While quinoa is usually considered to be a gluten-free grain (similar to brown rice and barley), it’s actually a seed. However it can be prepared just like rice, barley, and other grains. It has the highest protein content of all grains (4 grams per half cup cooked) and provides all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein.
For the weight-conscious individual, it’s a perfect choice. Not only is it an excellent source of protein, quinoa is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index to keep you feeling full for hours. Plus you’ll get a good dose of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, and potassium to keep your metabolism humming.
Here’s the recipe for my favorite Crunchy Quinoa with Apricots and Almonds. Give it a try. I think you’ll be adding it to your list of healthy dinner recipes.
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