Over the weekend, I was admiring the mint in the garden. An incredibly vibrant and determined plant, it can occupy your entire garden if permitted. Even though an opportunistic herb, this lovely perennial is full of flavor and a distinct aroma. Mint is a great addition to many culinary dishes, especially in salads. This quinoa salad recipe calls for a few refreshing and aromatic sprigs that brighten up the dish and your senses.
For those of you who are just familiarizing yourself with quinoa, please allow for a little Quinoa 101. Quinoa [pronounced KEEN-wah] is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, where it was successfully domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption.
In pre-Columbian Andean civilization, Quinoa was of great nutritional importance. It was secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance by maize. The Incas believed quinoa to be a sacred crop. They referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or ‘mother of all grains’.
Today, quinoa is finally receiving the recognition it deserves as a SUPERFOOD. “Quinoa is a true wonder food,” says Daniel Fairbanks, Ph.D., a professor of plant and animal science at Brigham Young University. “It has about twice the protein of regular cereal grains, fewer carbohydrates, and even a dose of healthy fats.” Plus, it’s considered a “complete” protein, which means that, like meat, eggs, and dairy, it packs all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build muscle. http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/quinoa
|Quinoa. My new comfort food|
Quinoa Salad Recipe with Lime + Fresh Mint
This cool summer salad (which just so happens to be vegan and naturally gluten-free) reminds me of tabbouleh- a Middle Eastern style pasta dish I used to love. What makes a quinoa salad taste so fabulous? Fresh mint, lime juice and good tasting extra virgin olive oil.