Quinoa is a popular choice to when it comes to replacing rice in many dishes, due to its impressive nutritional value. One key advantage is that it contains all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete plant protein. This not only makes it an excellent option for those wanting to boost their protein intake, but it also supports heart health and helps to lower blood sugar levels. In addition, quinoa is lower in carbohydrates compared to white rice and its fibre content can also help to lower your cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. And best of all, quinoa reduces your blood fat levels, known as triglycerides, after a meal. which rice doesn’t. Lowering your triglyceride levels helps to release fat and maintain weight lost, while doing so also improves your insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, which reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Beyond these nutritional merits, quinoa comes in various colours, each with its own unique qualities. Red quinoa, for instance, stands out because it is slightly chewier and nuttier than white quinoa, while black quinoa is the most nutrient-dense option. It boasts a slightly higher protein and dietary fibre contents, as well as lower fat content compared to its counterparts. However, it’s worth noting that black quinoa’s fluffier texture means that it requires a longer cooking time than the usual quick and easy 5-10 minutes.
Quinoa is also considered a whole grain, which makes it gluten-free and vegan, plus it offers anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to its overall health benefits. Because quinoa is really quick and easy to make, it’s a great lunch or dinner option for busy mums and those who are always on the go.
Make a bigger portion of this delicious salad and store it in the fridge to have for lunch the next day. And make sure to try out the different varieties to find your preference. Whether it’s red, black or white, or even a mixture to create a more colourful dish, your tummy will be happy after indulging in this satisfying dish!
Head of broccoli florets and stem, chopped (alternatively, you could use also try using tenderstem broccoli which has a slightly sweeter flavour when roasted)
White or red onion, thinly sliced
Half a bulb of garlic, crushed and chopped
1 cup of quinoa, cooked
Extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt
1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Spread the broccoli, onion and garlic on a baking sheet and liberally drizzle with the olive oil. Season with the salt and sprinkle with the turmeric powder and cayenne pepper, making sure all of the veg is covered, then place in a pre-heated oven on a medium setting (about 200°C) for around 20 minutes. You can check after about 15 minutes to see if the florets are lightly browned.
Remove from the oven when tender and browned, then add to the cooked quinoa and mix before plating and eating!
You could also bulk up this salad more by adding some roasted plum tomatoes and butternut squash, which would keep it vegan. However, if you want to add more protein or satisfy a meat eater, you could also add a couple of grilled halloumi slices, a piece of roasted chicken, a handful of roasted almonds or a chunk of feta cheese crumbled on top. Delicious!!!