By now, a lot of people know of Quinoa, even if they have no idea how to pronounce it. But, do we all know about the origins and benefits of it? The plant is grown for its grain-like seeds and it is actually a relative of beets, spinach and tumbleweeds. It is from the Andes region of South America and was successfully domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. The Incas held quinoa in high regard, even referring to it as the “Mother of all grains”, but when Spanish Conquistadors found the Incas, they dismissed the grain as “food for Indians” and suppressed its cultivation. But, now, quinoa is having its heyday and the UN has even declared 2013 as the year of Quinoa. Clearly, they are a little late to the party.
As far as how good it is for you, the facts speak for themselves. Quinoa is a complete protein, containing 9 essential amino acids; the grain is also rich in iron, fiber, magnesium, manganese and Riboflavin (B2). It is really no wonder this “super food” has become immensely popular! Quinoa is also naturally Gluten-free, so it is a great addition to any Celiac’s diet, or anyone else for that matter.
So, now that you know a little more about quinoa, let’s get on to the recipe! I’ve made plenty of savory recipes with it before, so I figured now would be a great time to try out a sweeter one. Especially after that review on those Keen-Wah Decadence bars, Mmmm.. And the giveaway is still going on! Enter for your chance to win one of three Multi-packs from YogaEarth. Anyway, these little quinoa bites are filled with deliciousness, it’s a main ingredient. They are perfect for curbing your sweet tooth cravings!
Believe it or not, there are mornings when my breakfast is not made up of oatmeal or smoothies. It has been a while since I’ve made something that had chia seeds as the star, usually I add them to smoothies or oatmeal (surprise, surprise!) for extra protein and fiber. Taking visual cues from Oh, She Glows, I made a “fancy” layered parfait with this sensational vanilla chia pudding with the best peaches I’ve had in a bit and deeply colored blueberries.
What I love about this parfait is that it’s incredibly easy to make, and pretty easy to assemble. I mean, honestly, who cares if it’s a little sloppy? It’s all getting eaten anyway! And really, you can customize this in an infinite amount of ways; I think that the next time I make one it will be very chocolatey and filled with peanut butter. Oh, yes…
But, that’s for another day, and possibly dessert. This refreshingly cool combination will take your mind off of the insane heat that’s been going around this summer, if not for just a few minutes.
My garden’s harvesting is coming to an end soon, with the exception of some tomato plants that I started pretty late in the season, and overall it’s been pretty successful! Even though these Summer wraps are a simple dish in execution and ingredients, I am extremely proud of them. Four of the main ingredients came from my garden, and that is something that I wouldn’t have been able to say just a couple of years ago.
Even though the corn stalks I had didn’t produce much, and the cobs are pretty miniature, they tasted great and had some excellent kernels. If my zucchini plant hadn’t fully succumbed to powdery mildew this wouldn’t have been my last homegrown zucchini of the season; but, you gotta take the good with the bad. I’ve never grown carrots before this year, and that was a very cool, patience-testing experience. Pulling a grand-looking, orange root from the earth was definitely a highlight for me. Then there’s the chard, which was started a little late but continues to grow and is quite the sight to see with its multi-colored stalks and deep green leaves.
With the addition of some red onion, tomatoes and mushrooms, these wraps have an array of colors and are not only delicious, but easy on the eyes. Salt and pepper are the only tools used for seasoning other than fresh Farmers Market basil, keeping it basic by letting the fresh produce shine through. Being wrapped in chard makes these wraps healthy and great to serve as an appetizer at a Summer dinner party.