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ISU Dietitian: Cooking with Quinoa

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Less than 5% of Americans consume the recommended amount of whole grains each day (usually 3 servings per day). The consumption of whole grains can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and is associated with lower incidence of Type 2 Diabetes and lower body weight.

What is a serving of grains?
• 1 slice of bread (size of a CD case)
• 1 ounce of cereal = 1 cup (size of a baseball)
• ½ cup cooked pasta or rice (size of a computer mouse)

Quinoa is a great whole grain option!
• Substitute for rice or couscous
• Eat hot for breakfast
• Quinoa is a complete protein with all the essential amino acids

Tips for cooking quinoa
• Quinoa has a bitter coating (sapotin) that must be removed prior to cooking
- Rinse vigorously in a strainer to remove
• Can be cooked in water or try low-sodium vegetable broth for additional flavor
- Cook in 2 cups of liquid per 1 cup of quinoa

Quinoa and arugula salad

• ½ cup quinoa OR 1 ½ cups precooked quinoa
• 1 bunch, clamshell, or bag of arugula
• 1 bunch green onions, chopped
• ¼ cup lemon juice (or to taste)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• Salt and pepper (to taste)

1. Prior to cooking, rinse uncooked quinoa for 2 minutes in a strainer. This will get rid of the bitter taste. Put 1 cup water and uncooked quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a boil and then turn the heat down to low, letting it simmer for about 20 minutes. After cooking, take it off the burner and let it cool.
2. While quinoa is cooking, chop the arugula and green onions.
3. Use a large bowl and add arugula, green onions, lemon juice, and olive oil. Stir to mix together.
4. After quinoa has cooled, add it to the mixture in the large bowl. Stir together.
5. Cover mixture and chill for two hours in the refrigerator. This can also chill overnight and be served the next day.
6. Before serving add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy
Serving suggestions: Use 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, cilantro, or basil for flavoring.

Serves: 6 (as a side dish)

Nutrition information (per serving): 130 calories, 8 g of fat (1 g of saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein

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