Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a great source of light, easy to digest, gluten-free protein. Native to the Andean Region of South America, quinoa cooks like a grain, it is actually a seed. For years, I’ve been making pilafs with quinoa, vegetables and lentils… great with cumin and balsamic dressing or tahini dressing. The grain cooks like rice – 2 parts water or vegetable broth to one part quinoa.
Ayurveda stats… Quinoa is light, warming and drying, so on it’s own it balances the damp, cool, heavy qualities of kapha and spring season. However, cooked with balancing spices and herbs and combined with heavier, more grounding ingredients such as oil, avocado, winter squash and root vegetables, quinoa becomes balancing for all three doshas.
For a quick, protein rich meal I often make what I call “quin-wasta” – quinoa pasta – available at health food stores from Ancient Harvest. Many shapes are available, I love the spagetti size personally – I find they most closely resemble a traditional duram pasta.
- Package of Quinoa Pasta (or pasta of your choice), prepared according to directions to be al dente
- Butternut squash, chopped and steamed (or an winter squash or sweet potato)
- Asparagus, snapped in half and steamed (green beans or zucchini also work well)
- Flat leaf Italian parsley (rinsed & chopped)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Cumin seeds, dry-toasted & ground – See Post
- Olive oil
- One of the following: balsamic, lemon, ricotta, feta (any of these will add the sour taste.
- Toss all the ingredients together!