One ingredient I have been trying to use more in my cooking is quinoa. It sort of looks like couscous, but it's so much better (in my opinion...). Its fluffier than couscous and has a nice nutty flavor. Looks like this when cooked:

The interesting thing about quinoa is that it is actually not a grain; it's a relative of leafy green veggies. It's also completely gluten free and a complete source of protein (it has all the essential amino acids, which is very unusual for a non-animal food product). 

Quinoa is sort of expensive and hard to find, so that's why I don't eat it as much as I'd like. The last time I ate quinoa was the night before the Thanksgiving Day Atlanta Half Marathon. My sister found this recipe: Quinoa Cakes with Eggplant-Tomato Ragù and Smoked Mozzarella, and we decided it would be a great pre-race dinner!

Cooking the quinoa cakes and sautéing veggies.

Close up on the veggies: eggplant, cherry tomatoes, onions, and red peppers :)

I dug into my meal before I thought to take a picture of the finished product (sorry!), but it did look gorgeous on the plate. And most importantly, it was delicious. However, I would definitely double the amount of cherry tomatoes next time!

Did it fuel us up well for the half marathon? Well, I didn't shatter any records, but I ran with some of my old friends from high school, and we had a great time chatting the whole way and felt great finishing in just under 2 hours (9 min miles? I'm bad at math...). 

I guess it's time to try another quinoa recipe, as that meal was about a month ago! I've been wanting to try this recipe from NY Times: Baked Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese. I will try to make this before I have to go back to school and will let you know it goes. And if anyone has any quinoa recipes they have tried and like, I would love to hear about it!


VeggieGirl said...

I love quinoa!! I recommend the Quinoa recipes in the "Eat Clean Diet" book and from the "Eat, Drink & Be Vegan" cookbook.

Esi said...

I really love quinoa. There is a great recipe on Everyday Food for quinoa burgers. They take a bit of time, but hey are so worth it!