Once called “the gold of the Incas” for increasing the stamina of Incan warriors, some say that black quinoa tends to hold its shape better than the lighter colored variations when cooked and works better in salad when the texture is preserved. Using seasonal vegetables, like fiber-packed parsnips, antioxidant-rich carrots and anti-inflammatory asparagus, this recipe from Red Mountain Resort in Ivins, Utah, will tickle your taste buds while giving you a plethora of nutrients and a boost of clean energy, too.
We love the slightly light and fluffy yet mildly firm texture of quinoa and the subtle nutty taste, which is said to be a little stronger in the darker variations of quinoa. Great in a simple recipe with some seasonal vegetables like this one, quinoa is full of protein; complete proteins to be exact, which means it includes all nine essential amino acids that are needed for tissue growth and repair. Besides protein, which makes it a satisfying choice for vegetarians and vegans, it’s also full of manganese, a cancer-fighting antioxidant, fiber, calcium, riboflavin, copper and potassium. And for those who are watching their gluten intake, eat up – quinoa is definitely gluten-free.
Check out this fun fact about quinoa and get a glimpse of what quinoa looks like before it’s harvested!
Red Mountain: Black Quinoa with Vegetables & Feta (Serves 4)
For the quinoa:
1 cup black quinoa (uncooked)
2 cup vegetable stock
½ tsp salt
⅛ tsp pepper
⅛ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp coriander
⅛ tsp cumin
For the vegetables & feta:
2 tsp pure olive oil
1½ cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well
½ cup asparagus, cut ¾ inches
½ cup leeks, sliced ¼ inch
½ cup diced parsnips
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup vegetable stock
3 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
- For the quinoa: Place all items in 1 quart sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes. Let sit covered for 10 minutes.
- For the vegetables and feta: Heat olive oil to the smoke point. Add carrots, parsnips, garbanzo beans, asparagus and leeks, sauté until asparagus softens. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Add feta cheese, toss and serve over hot quinoa.
Nutrition information per serving: 276 calories | 42 g carbs | 10 g protein | 5 g fat | 8 g fiber