04 December, 2010

Quinoa with Veggies & Shrimp

Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is my new favorite seed.  That's right!  Quinoa is a seed but its consistency is more like couscous.  I've known about quinoa for several years, but I rarely ate it because I never used to cook.  I'm trying to prepare more of my own meals, which is time-consuming, but worth it from a health standpoint. 

If you haven't tried quinoa yet, you should give it a go!  You can find it in most grocery stores nowadays. To save money, I bought a big bag of it from CostCo - don't you just LOVE that place??  But back to this stupendous seed.  Before I write out the recipe for Quinoa w/ Veggies & Shrimp, I want to tell you...

5 Reasons Why YOU Should Be Eating Quinoa:
  1. Protein - one serving contains about 8 grams
  2. Fiber - one serving contains about 5 grams
  3. Vitamins - good source of Thiamine, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, and Folate (folate is great for pregnant women)
  4. Minerals - high in Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper, Zinc, & Manganese
  5. Easy to Prepare - you can use a rice cooker, or just boil it using 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa.  One quarter cup uncooked quinoa yields about 1 cup cooked quinoa, so you don't need to use very much!
Quinoa with Veggies & Shrimp
(makes 4 meal-sized servings)

1 cup rinsed quinoa (uncooked)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I use low-sodium)
2 to 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
4 servings shrimp (about 12 oz) - sub tofu or extra veggies to make vegan
1 zucchini OR 1 yellow squash, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
8 fresh basil leaves, sliced
2 tsp lime juice

Bring quinoa and broth to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to a simmer until broth is absorbed, and the white "tail" is visible (about 10 minutes).
Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet; cook and stir the garlic and onion until onion is translucent (about 5 minutes).  Stir in shrimp and cook until almost done.  Add one more tablespoon of olive oil, and stir in the zucchini and tomato.  Cook until shrimp is done and zucchini is tender. 
Sprinkle with feta cheese, basil, and lime juice.  Serve over hot quinoa.

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