Thursday Treat


Last week, we delved into the healthy benefits of Salmon and its Omega-3 goodness. This week, I want to talk about another member of the food fad we see nowadays being touted from the skyscrapers. We all hear that “whole grain does this” and “whole grain does that”, but how much do you have to eat to reap the benefits? The Whole Grains Council ( suggests eating 3-6 servings of whole grain at 16g of whole grain per serving for everyone 9 years and up. Who’s got the time or appetite to eat 3-6 bowls of Cheerios every day? Variety anyone?

Enter Quinoa. Quinoa is a tiny, ancient Peruvian seed, which has a mild, nutty flavor, is related to leafy green vegetables and is often used like a grain. Quinoa is as versatile as rice but it has a protein content that is superior to that of most grains, because it contains all the essential amino acids. In particular, quinoa is high in lysine, an amino acid important for tissue growth and repair. It’s also a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and it has a high iron content. Let’s not forget that quinoa also contains many varieties of Vitamin E, which neutralizes the oxidant effect of free radicals, which are molecules that damage collagen and cause skin dryness, fine lines and wrinkles. Also, quinoa keeps you fuller vs rice because of the fiber content, which means you would eat less quinoa than rice. Less eating = less calories and coupled wit the high protein content, eating quinoa is a surefire combination for losing weight.

There are 3 common colors of quinoa, white, red and black. White quinoa has a mild flavor and is a great substitute for rice, and also great for breakfast. Red quinoa has a little nuttier flavor and is crunchier, which means it can be put in salads without getting all mushy. Black quinoa has an earthy flavor and is as crunchy as red quinoa. You can also get a tricolor mix at some stores, which combines all of these great flavors.

Here are some of my favorite quinoa dishes for you to try and knock the rice habit!

Cinnamon-Scented Breakfast Quinoa

Quinoa Stir-Fry with Vegetables and Chicken


Nutrition data from the Whole Grains Council,  Recipes courtesy of,




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