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Quinoa: The Perfect Protein!

While quinoa is usually considered to be a whole grain, it is actually a seed that can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley. Quinoa is high in protein, lacks gluten and cholesterol, and is a great grain alternative for those following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. The protein in quinoa is complete, meaning that it contains all the essential protein building blocks (called amino acids) that our bodies need. All these health benefits paired with its versatility and delicious nutty flavor are why quinoa is making such huge tracks with savvy restaurant goers across the country.

How do you quinoa?

Get creative! This delicious and nutritious power protein can easily be added to any menu.

Try this great-tasting Quinoa with Roasted Squash and Pumpkin Seeds recipe:

Ingredients

4 cups cooked Roland® Tri-Color Quinoa

3 cups winter squash peeled, seeded, and  diced (kabucha, butternut, or acorn)

1/2 cup dried Cranberries

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

1 orange zested and juiced

3 tbsp Roland® Maple Syrup

1/4 cup Roland® Citron Oil

1/4 + 1/3 cup Roland® Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds

Roland® Fine Sea Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Optional garnish: fresh mixed sprouts

 

Directions

1.    Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss diced squash with 1/4 cup olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread squash in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for approximately 20 minutes, tossing once, until tender and starting to color. Remove squash from oven and set aside.

2.    Combine orange juice, zest, maple syrup, citron oil, and remaining 1/3 cup olive oil in a large bowl and whisk vigorously. Add the cooked quinoa, cranberries, roasted squash, parsley, and scallions in the bowl with the liquid ingredients. Mix all ingredients gently, and season well with salt and pepper.

3.    Serve this dish warm or at room temperature, garnished with sprouts and pumpkin seeds.

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