Nutrition Spotlight: Quinoa

quinoaQuinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient whole grain that has been making its way back into the mainstream over the last few years. The name quinoa translates to “mother grain”. This is very fitting as it is the only grain that contains all nine essential amino acids, therefore is considered a complete protein. Quinoa has a high nutrient profile and is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn.
From a culinary standpoint, quinoa has an earthy, nutty flavor with a slightly crunchy texture and it does not take long to cook (about 15 minutes). This grain will definitely add a little more excitement to any meal. It may also be a nice change from your standard side dish of potatoes, pasta or rice.
Enjoy this delicious recipe from
Balsamic Quinoa Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Author: O. A. Quinoa
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Quinoa
Serves: 4
· ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
· ¼ Extra Virgin Olive
· 2 T Dijon mustard
· 6 cloves of garlic, minced
· 2 shallots, minced
· Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste
· 1 ½ cups quinoa
· Bouillon cube
· 5 Sun Dried Tomatoes (Not in oil)
· 1 red pepper, chopped
· 4 oz blue cheese
· 1 can black beans or 1½ cups cooked, rinsed and drained
1. Make dressing by combining vinegar, mustard, garlic, shallots and olive oil. Season to taste.
2. Add quinoa to three cups of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes.
3. Rinse with cool water and place in a fine mesh colander. Boil water and place quinoa and sun dried tomatoes in the colander over the water. Cover with a kitchen towel and lid. Steam for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
4. Cook red pepper in a small skillet until tender.
5. Combine pepper and remaining ingredients with quinoa. Add dressing and toss. Enjoy!

Allison Walker RD,LDN, is the Clinical Nutrition Manager at Noble Hospital.

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