Quinoa is a typical ingredient from the high plains that has recently gained popularity in international cuisine. Its nutritional value and easy preparation have made it a favorite of professional chefs and amateur cooks alike, who use it in many ways.
While as versatile as rice, quinoa is a seed, not a grain. It grows in cool climates, despite the limited water and cold winds of high altitudes. This ability to survive has allowed quinoa to become a main food source among the indigenous people of the Atacama Desert and other parts of the Andes Mountains.
Quinoa is great for our bodies as it is rich in antioxidants, helps with digestion, has a low glycemic index and is low in gluten. For these reasons, it is a great choice for diabetics and celiacs. It also offers high levels of omega-6, vitamins and minerals, and the perfect balance of proteins, fat and carbohydrates.
Here we share a delicious recipe by Francisco Valencia, at the chef at Tierra Atacama, so you can try this superfood at home: Quinoa Tabbouleh.
Recipe (4 people)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
- ¼ cup zucchini, skin on and seeds removed, in small cubes
- ¼ cup tomato, peeled, seedless and cubed
- ¼ cup red pepper, seedless and cubed
- ¼ cup yellow pepper, seedless and cubed
- ¼ cup green pepper seedless and cubed
- ¼ cup cucumber, peeled, seedless and cubed
- Soy sauce, salt and pepper
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked and chilled
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
In a pan, warm up the oil on medium heat, add the vegetables and sauté them until they are al dente. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the chilled quinoa, mint, basil and the remaining oil and vinegar. Taste, season as desired, mix gently and serve as a salad or other side dish.