Quinoa; one of the world’s most perfect foods. A whole grain with the highest amount of protein, contains all nine essential amino acids, is gluten-free and cholesterol free. One of my favorite dishes with this powerhouse food is something I like to call The Quinoa Bowl. This is basically a layered dish with quinoa as the base. You can layer it with just about anything you want, but here’s what I layer it with to keep it flavorful and healthy.
Boil a ¼ cup of quinoa, this will make one serving size, and goes first in the bowl. Next, add meat, your choice (i.e. ground beef, chicken, or turkey, shredded beef, chicken, turkey, or pork, cubed beef, chicken, turkey, or pork), my preferences are ground beef or chicken, and I always buy my meats organic, free-range, grass-fed. Make sure to look for the right certifications, American Grassfed Association (considered the best certification), USDA organic, Certified Humane Raised and Handled, or Animal Welfare Approved. Brown a ¼ pound (single serving) of the meat in a skillet and season it to your liking. I add healthy spices such as rosemary, cayenne pepper (a pinch), turmeric, black pepper, Italian seasoning or Mrs. Dash, flaxseeds and chia seeds. How much of each spice is up to you and your liking, but I use about a teaspoon of each.
Sprinkle some shredded cheese. Choose the healthy ones (part skim mozzarella, swizz, feta, to name a few), I prefer part skim mozzarella. Adding the cheese on top of the meat allows it to melt. Next, add a spoonful of beans (black, red, kidney, pinto), this also helps the cheese to melt. I usually go with black or a premix of black, red and pinto. I’m not too savvy at cooking beans from the bag, so I usually buy the organic canned ones. Top that with a mix of chopped organic field greens, lettuce (red or green leaf), spinach and kale (another superfood), or any combination of them.
Lastly, slap on a nice topping of diced tomatoes, avocados, cucumber, onion and cilantro. Mix this together first with a tablespoon of grapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil and a couple squirts of fresh lemon. Don’t buy the lemon in the squeeze container; it has added preservatives. If you’re feeling like an added kick, add a dab of some fresh horseradish or more of the cayenne pepper.
Remember portion control. Don’t over eat. Serve it in a soup bowl instead of a salad bowl; this dish can add up to a huge portion size if you take spoonfuls of each layer to fill a bigger bowl. One caveat, I always layer this dish the exact same way every time. I have found that switching the way it’s layered will change the taste of the dish. That being said, I hope you enjoy it; it’s one of my favorites.
Quick List of Ingredients:
Ground beef or chicken
Cheese: part skim mozzarella
Beans: black, red, pinto, or kidney
Mix greens or lettuce, spinach, kale
Topping: tomato, avocado, cucumber, onion, cilantro, grapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice
Seasonings: rosemary, black pepper, cayenne pepper, turmeric, Italian seasoning or Mrs. Dash, flaxseeds, chia seeds
Total cooking and prep time, about 20 minutes.
Happy, healthy eating.