I am slowly transitioning off the GAPS diet following the book (available from my affiliate partner), Gut and Psychology Syndrome. So far I have added some non-gluten grains, such as, quinoa, buckwheat and millet. The challenge has been to find different ways to cook these grains besides just boiled in water with some butter added. Don’t get me wrong, they are good with just butter. Especially after almost 2 years without any grains at all – they are REAL good! But, variety is nice.
Quinoa in our house has gotten a bum rap. It all started years ago when I went on a detox diet for my rheumatoid arthritis – I sure wish I had know back then about the GAPS diet! But I didn’t so, I went on a detox diet which included quinoa. Since my family is so supportive, John suggested that everyone do the diet with me. Unfortunately, the diet was very restrictive and I did not know how to cook quinoa except boiled with butter and salt and well, the children nicknamed quinoa, “fish-eyes”!
Don’t ask me why, but they did.
And, it has stuck to this day!
Even our younger children who were not around at that time, call quinoa, “fish-eyes”!
This reputation has been hard to overcome! But, Quinoa Almond Pilaf has done it – this recipe was met with approval by all. Success – I love it!!!
I started experimenting with quinoa because I have heard how good it is for you. But, in my research, I have found out some interesting facts about quinoa. Did you know, quinoa is really not a grain? That’s right, quinoa is not a member of the cereal or grain family at all! It is a seed and member of the chenopod family which also contains spinach, Swiss chard, and beets!
Do you know how to say the word? My children (and husband) are sure that it should be pronounced, kwi-NOA. But, actually, quinoa, is pronounced KEEN-wah and is packed with nutrition.
Nutritional Facts About Quinoa
- Quinoa is a complete protein source.
- Quinoa actually has more concentrated levels of two antioxidants than even cranberries and lingonberries.
- Quinoa also contains multiple phytonutrients which have anti-inflammatory actions.
- Quinoa is higher in fat content (compared to grains like wheat) and can provide valuable amounts of heart-healthy fats like monounsaturated fat in the form of oleic acid.
- Quinoa can also provide small amounts of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid.
- Quinoa is a good source of vitamin E.
- Quinoa contains over twice the amount of calcium compared to grains, ounce per ounce.
- Quinoa’s nutrient benefits are not affected by cooking.
And, if these are not enough, quinoa really does taste good!
So, the next time you are tempted to cook rice, try substituting Quinoa Almond Pilaf!
Quinoa Almond Pilaf
4 Tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 c. quinoa
1/2 c almonds, chopped (pecans or walnuts are also good!)
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
In medium saucepan, melt butter. Add chopped onions and cook over medium heat until soft – about 6 minutes.
Add quinoa and toss quickly to heat then add 1 1/3 cups water. Bring to simmer, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft – about 20 minutes.
Stir in the nuts and parsley.
Add salt and pepper to taste.