Recipe: Quinoa Squash Pilaf

I am on a never ending quest for healthier eating. Oh, I totally enjoy fries, and burgers and chocolate, but I try to make the majority of our meals as healthy and unprocessed as possible. Then, in moderation we can enjoy other things that we don't have as often anymore. I've also learned how to tweak some of those old "favorites" to make them a bit healthier. Sometimes it's more work, but it's worth it in the long run. I've had this box of Quinoa in my cupboard for months. I've never used it because I honestly had no clue how to use it. I just heard it was good, and good for you! A friend was recently talking about it and I decided I should put it to good use. When my hubby bought me my new Taste of Home Cookbook, I found this recipe. Hmmm, I thought to myself, I should give this a try. So try it I did and everyone liked it. Quinoa is a very healthy grain and very light tasting. I found this information of The World's Healthiest Foods Website
A recently rediscovered ancient "grain" native to South America, quinoa was once called "the gold of the Incas," who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
I served this dish with skinless, boneless, chicken thighs that were just lightly seasoned. It made for a perfectly light meal.
Quinoa Squash Pilafl
1 c. Quinoa rinsed 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) vegetable broth 1/4 c. water 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced 1 c. chopped leeks (white portions only)....I used onion 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 Tbs. olive oil 1 large tomato, chopped 1 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro (I used parsley) 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. dried oregano 1/2 tsp. chili powder 1/4 tsp. pepper 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (I left these out) 2 c. fresh baby spinach, chopped 1. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, toast the quinoa over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. 2. In a small saucepan, bring broth and water to a boil. Add the quinoa. Reduce the heat; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside. 3. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the zucchini, yellow squash, leeks and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in tomato, cilantro, seasonings and quinoa; heat through. Add spinach; cook and stir until spinach has wilted. Enjoy!! I hope to post a recipe tomorrow for some Pumpkin Scones that we made on Friday...YUM!!! With Joy UNquenchable,


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