Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cajun Style Dirty Quinoa (AMAZEBALLS)

Dirty Quinoa

Cajun Style Dirty Quinoa

Many of us have had the pleasure of enjoying the Cajun classic, Dirty rice. While I LOVE a little taste of N’awlins every now and again, traditional dirty rice is VERY high in Calories, Fat, and SODIUM!!! When I was looking to duplicate this recipe I was looking for a similar taste and at the same time make it healthy. What could be better than using a super grain (actually a seed) like Quinoa! This has become a staple in our household. We also like to make this for family gathering and friends because most people have never had quinoa and those who have had it plain (Blaaahhh!). The recipe that follows is pretty large because we like to have left overs. Dirty Quinoa is actually better on day 2 or 3. If you would like a little extra protein, feel free to add cooked ground turkey or turkey sausage.

Cajun Style Dirty Quinoa

Quinoa, The Super-Food of the Incas

Quinoa is native to South America. In fact the pre-Columbian Incas saw it as a sacred food, calling it chisaya mama (mother grain). They planted the first seeds of the season in religious ceremonies using golden tools. Depriving the people of quinoa was one of the means the Spanish used to conquer the Incas. In recent years, people who value nutrition have begun to appreciate the wisdom of the Incas in esteeming this food which offers a host of health benefits. Quinoa provides a complete protein, making it especially valuable for those who prefer to reduce or completely eliminate animal protein from their diets. It contains all the essential amino acids, including lysine, which is crucial for growing and repairing body tissues. One cup of quinoa provides 9 grams of protein which is one more gram than a medium chicken egg. Quinoa is high in magnesium and riboflavin (B2) content make it an excellent nutritional ally for migraine sufferers. It is also beneficial to overall cardiovascular health, digestion, and detoxification. 

Recipe and Preparation

Makes 8 servings
What You NEED!!!
2 cups of rinsed Quinoa
4 cups of organic vegetable stock
1 diced yellow/green/red bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 diced medium onion
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup Braggs Liquid Aminos or Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons Paprika
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 green onions diced
Heat olive oil in a large skillet with a lid. Once olive oil has reached temperature add peppers and onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté until onions and peppers have become soft and garlic has begun to brown (apprx. 5 min) Add quinoa and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Allow to cook for apprx 25 minutes and uncover. Add Braggs Liquid Aminos and the spices. Stir and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Quinoa will be done when the grain becomes tender and translucent while the germ ring will start to separate.  Top with diced green onions. ENJOY!!!

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