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Tuesday, June 8, 2010, Issue No. 299

Quinoa: Reviving an Ancient Grain

Quinoa with Mushrooms and Squash
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This unique grain, used in abundance by the Incas, is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus and manganese and is low in cholesterol and sodium. Quinoa tends to absorb the flavors of ingredients around it, making it an excellent base for this dish. Plus, it’s a member of the whole grain family, which means it’s rich in important phytochemicals like phenols. The squash and mushroom featured in this recipe add an earthy flavor and give the dish more texture and substance. Add it as a side to any main course for a delicious dinner or light lunch.

Quinoa with Mushrooms and Squash

  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup raw quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved length-wise and sliced
  • 1 medium summer squash, halved length-wise and sliced
  • 8 ounces crimini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring vegetable broth to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in quinoa and simmer gently until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a skillet. Add onions and garlic, and sauté over medium heat until translucent.

Add squashes and mushrooms and sauté over high heat until squash is touched with golden spots.

Turn heat to low and stir in cooked quinoa, cilantro, oregano and cumin. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 cups.

Per serving (cup): 170 calories, 5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 27 g carbohydrate,
5 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 60 mg sodium.

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