One disadvantage is the calories. You need to be careful. I felt very proud of myself the first time I bought quinoa. I went to the whole food store and asked for it in my perfect pronunciation "Where is the 'ki:nwa?" At the check stand two other ladies commented on it and asked me about it. I felt healthier by just buying it. I got home and made a beautiful meal with it incorporated. I then smugly sat down to log in the calories on livestrong.com. It came up as 600 calories a cup!!!! Gasp! After that I let it sit on my shelf for a while until I started thinking more clearly. Was it really 600 calories? Why is it promoted so highly in clean eating and other diet books, I know it has protein but still, I did more research and found 4 or 5 different sites all with different numbers of calories. In the end, I discovered that you must use a uncooked amount as measurement for calories. The volume cooked changes with the amount of water lost in cooking. And with quinoa a little goes a long way.
So it's true calorie count for 1/4 cup uncooked is about 160 calories. 1/4 cup per person is more than enough and roughly will become about a cup cooked.
My favorite dish so far is a lemon stirfry with quinoa. I use about 1/2 -1 cup cooked quinoa on the side of the stirfry.
Soak quinoa for 15 min before cooking to remove a bitter coating. Drain water using a fine strainer and refill pan
- 1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
- Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Cook's Note: Quinoa is done when the grains have turned from white to transparent, and the spiral-like germ has separated.
Lemon Chicken Stir Fry –
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound boneless,
skinless chicken breasts
trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
10 ounces mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 cup diagonally sliced carrots , (1/4 inch thick)
2 cups snow peas , (6 ounces), stems and strings removed
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces, white and green parts divided
1 tablespoon chopped garlic.
Directions: Grate 1 teaspoon lemon zest and set aside. Juice the lemon and whisk 3 tablespoons of the juice with broth, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate with tongs. Add mushrooms and carrots to the pan and cook until the carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add snow peas, scallion whites, garlic and the reserved lemon zest. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Whisk the broth mixture and add to the pan; cook, stirring, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add scallion greens and the chicken and any accumulated juices; cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. 4 servings 11/2 cup each Per serving without quinoa: Total calories per serving 225 calories adapted from www.eatingwell.com