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Updated: Friday, May 10 2013, 09:23 AM CDT

Hy-Vee dietitian Nicole Johnson joined the J-Crew on this Monday morning to xplore the wonderful possibilities of the power food quinoa!

Curious about Quinoa?


Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a rediscovered ancient “grain” native to Central America.  Quinoa is technically a seed but its nutritional quality is most similar to a grain and has a texture similar to rice or couscous.  It has a very mild, nutty flavor and can take on more flavor by adding chicken broth and sautéed veggies.  Quinoa is found in the HealthMarket department at Hy-Vee.    


Nutritional Powerhouse:

Not only is quinoa high in protein, it is also one of the few plant foods that are considered a “complete protein,” as it contains all the essential amino acids.  This protein can help control blood sugar and decrease cravings for sweets and carbohydrates.  Quinoa is high in calcium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium.  It is also a good source of fiber, providing 3 grams of fiber per serving.     


Tips for Preparing Quinoa:

Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve for about 5 minutes or until water runs clear.  Quinoa is naturally covered with bitter-tasting saponins.  Rinsing helps remove these saponins.  Prewashed quinoa is also sold  so no rinsing is needed.  A common cooking method is to treat quinoa much like rice.  Bring 2 cups of water or broth to a boil and add 1 cup quinoa.  Bring the mixture back to a boil, covering the pan with a lid.  Continue to cook over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.  Once cooked, quinoa will change from white to transparent and the spiral-like germ will separate.         


Quick Serving Ideas:

·        Substitute quinoa for rice in any entrée, soup or salad recipe.

·        Create a side dish with a kick of flavor by substituting water with chicken or vegetable stock when cooking quinoa. 

·        Mix quinoa with honey, almonds or berries for a high-protein hot breakfast cereal. 

·        Make your favorite stir-fry and serve over quinoa.


Red Quinoa with Golden Raisins

All you need:

·        2 cups red quinoa

·        3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

·        1/2 cup slivered almonds

·        2 tablespoons olive oil

·        Juice of 1 orange

·        1 tablespoon honey

·        1/4 teaspoon salt

·        2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

·        1/2 cup golden raisins

·        4 green onions, thinly sliced

·        2 carrots, grated

All you do:

1.      Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it well until the water runs clear, about 1 minute. In a saucepan, add the rinsed quinoa and broth and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed, stirring as little as possible.

2.      Meanwhile, place the almonds in a dry skillet on medium-high heat and toast until golden, tossing constantly, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, juice, honey, salt and parsley.

3.      Combine warm quinoa, dressing, toasted nuts, raisins, green onion and grated carrot. Serve at room temperature.


Nutrition facts per serving: 280 calories; 9 g fat ( 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans-fat); 0mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrate; 8 g protein; 4 g fiber; 310 mg sodium.

Serves: 8

Source: Jen Heringhausen, Marion Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian and Chef


Quinoa with Latin Flavors

All you need

·        1 cup quinoa

·        2 teaspoons Hy-Vee canola oil

·        1 medium onion, chopped

·        1 (4 ounce) can Hy-Vee diced green chiles

·        2 cloves garlic, minced

·        1 (14 ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

·        1/4 cup pepitas, toasted

·        3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

·        1/2 cup chopped scallions

·        2 tablespoons lime juice

·        1/4 teaspoon salt

All you do

1.      Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear.

2.      Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chiles and garlic; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the quinoa and broth; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.

3.      Add pepitas, cilantro, scallions, lime juice and salt to the quinoa; mix gently and fluff with a fork.



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Jen Heringhausen
Julie Gallagher-Edgewood
Collins Road/Lindale
Oakland Rd
Mt. Vernon Road
Johnson Ave
1st Ave
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