Quinoa, what?!

It’s not a band name and it’s not a dance move, it’s neither a kind of exercise, nor a celebrity’s baby name (this is debateable) so WTF is Quinoa?

Pronounced, keen-wah, and commonly mistaken for a grain, is actually a seed (weird, we know) that tastes and has the same texture of brown rice and oatmeal. It’s crunchy, fluffy, and somewhat nutty all in one. It can replace rice, potatoes, or even pasta. I’ve even used it as a pizza crust.  It’s mistaken for a gain because of the way it is used and prepared however, it differs greatly in nutritional value.

Quick nutrition facts: 1 cup of quinoa contains roughly 200 calories, 4 grams of fat, 39 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein (holy moly!)

8 grams of protein is a ton of awesomeness packed into a ‘grain’ a.k.a seed, making it a complete source of protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids.  This makes it a great choice for everyone, including vegans and vegetarians.

Qunioa is also great for cardiovascular heath because it is high in magnesium, which helps to relax the blood vessels reducing the rates of hypertension and heart disease. It provides antioxidant support being high in both manganese and copper, which help to promote a healthy immune system, and ensure that red blood cells remain in top condition. Since quinoa is high in fiber, it helps keep the digestive system running smoothly, and can also help reduce your chance of getting gallstones.

If you want to read about everything (I mean ev-er-y-thing) there is to know about quinoa including storage, preparation, selection, and more click here.

You’re probably thinking, why are you giving me an encyclopedia definition about a weird sounding seed… well, we just rolled out new menus at our Taverns and there’s a new dish prepared with quinoa.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad: Quinoa, tossed with cucumbers, roasted tomatoes, red and green peppers, red onions, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese and tossed in our greek aegean dressing. $13 Add Chicken $3

Enjoy this salad next time you visit Rams Head for some serious nutrition.

 

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