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By Fredrica Syren a.k.a Green mom:

Quinoa is one of those foods I find to be most misunderstood. People either don’t know how to eat it or how to cook it. I love quinoa, and we eat it at least once a week. Native to South America, it is a fantastic wheat-free alternative that’s a complete protein grain. A very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese, quinoa also possesses good levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fiber. Quinoa can be used in soups, bread, and porridge; and it can be substituted for rice and barley.

When cooked, it has a slightly bitter taste, which I think can be off-putting for some. But my tip is to bring quinoa to a boil in water, then drain and wash the quinoa before cooking it again in fresh water. This method will remove the bitter taste and, instead, produce a nutty flavor. You know quinoa is finished cooking when it fluffs up and releases something that looks like a tiny tail.

One of my kids’ favorite ways to eat quinoa is in this Mexican dish I found on Pinterest. It’s very filling and satisfying, and I serve it with corn tortillas, salsa and guacamole. I love it because it’s a one-pan wonder☺

  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk Celery, dicedOne pan mexican quinoa
  • 1 small Carrot, diced
  • 2 Spring Onions, chopped
  • 4 Jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1¼ cups Uncooked Quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • 1¼ cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 cups of cooked Black Beans or one 15 oz. can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can Diced Tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh Cilantro
  • 1 cup Baby Spinach
  • Juice of 1 Lime

 Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic, celery, carrot, spring onion and jalapeños, and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Stir in the quinoa, broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 20-25 minutes, until the liquid is fully absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, spinach and lime juice. Season to taste.

Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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