Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quinoa: Nutritious and Delicious

Quinoa is a delicious seed and an excellent alternative for rice. It is very rich in protein, contains all essential amino acids, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and fiber. It is just as versatile and easy to cook as rice.
Here is a great recipe, tested and absolutely approved by demanding kids!

Baked Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese
Based on recipe by Martha Rose Shulman
Serves 4 to 6 people

- 16oz bag organic baby spinach.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 medium onion, chopped.
- 2 garlic cloves.
- 4 cups of cooked quinoa* (1 cup uncooked).
- 2 large organic eggs.
- 3/4 cup gruyere cheese, grated.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped.
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated.
- Salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Oil a 2 quart gratin or baking dish.
Heat a medium frying pan. Wash the spinach, add to the pan, and wilt in the liquid left on leaves after washing. As soon as the spinach wilts, remove from the heat and let it cool. Squeeze and chop (use the water, rich in vitamins, to cook the quinoa).

Wipe the pan dry, and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, until onion is tender. Stir in the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Beat the eggs and add 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Stir in the cooked quinoa*, the spinach, the cheese and the sage. Stir and scrape into the gratin or baking dish. Sprinkle the parmesan over the top, add the rest of the olive oil. Place it in the oven and bake it for about 25 minutes.

* To cook quinoa in advance, boil 2 1/2 cups of water with 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Add 1 cup of uncooked quinoa. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15-17 minutes. Remove from the cook top. Let it sit undisturbed for 10 minutes to finish cooking.

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