Quinoa recipes from local experts

How to get the healthy food into your diet.

The new year brings with it a new opportunity to eat a little bit healthier. In Tuesday’s Life section, we introduced you to a simple, painless way to do just that: adding quinoa to your daily diet.

Pronounced “KEEN-wah,” this tiny seed that eats like a grain is a nutritional powerhouse providing hoards of vitamins, minerals and fiber just to name a few.

Today, our two local experts provide tips on preparing quinoa, as well a couple of their favorite quinoa recipes.

Due to a natural, harmless but bitter coating called saponins that is present on quinoa, both advise rinsing it before cooking it.

Recipes

Laura McAlpine, a Springboro resident and registered dietician at Dayton Children’s Hospital shares her two favorite quinoa recipes: Breakfast Quinoa and Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies.

BREAKFAST QUINOA

Ingredients

2 cups lowfat skim milk

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:

In a small saucepan, bring milk to a boil. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until most of the milk has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Cook, covered, until almost all of the milk has been absorbed, about 8 minutes. Stir in blueberries and cook for 30 seconds. Serve with additional milk, cinnamon and blueberries, if desired.

CHOCOLATE CHIP QUINOA COOKIES

Ingredients

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup rolled oats

½ cup natural peanut butter

¼ cup honey

1 egg

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp vanilla

½ cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the first six ingredients. Mix until well blended. Add in chocolate chips. Using a tablespoon, drop cookies onto the lined baking sheet. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cookies to sit in the pan for 2 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

— SOURCE: Laura McAlpine, registered dietician with Dayton Children’s Hospital

Winter Salad

Chelsea Caito, a registered dietician/weight loss coach and assistant department head of nutrition at Lifetime Fitness in Mason, offers one of her favorite quinoa recipes:

WINTER SALAD

Ingredients

1 cup multicolored quinoa, cooked

2 cups roasted squash cubes

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 green onions, minced

½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

½ cup dried cranberries

1 tablespoon fresh sage

Zest and juice of one orange

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Let quinoa cook to room temperature, toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve over greens (kale, spinach)

— SOURCE: Chelsea Caito, registered dietician/weight loss coach and assistant department head of nutrition at Lifetime Fitness in Mason

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