Eat This!

7 Fat-Burning Ways to Cook with Quinoa

When it comes to trendy health foods, quinoa is only eclipsed by kale and coconut water.

Eat This!

7 Fat-Burning Ways to Cook with Quinoa

When it comes to trendy health foods, quinoa is only eclipsed by kale and coconut water.

And though we've already told you how kale's a little overhyped (there are 10 Greens Healthier Than Kale), quinoa earns its buzz. Its amped-up nutrition profile is leaving go-to grains like brown rice in the dust.

Quinoa is the only grain that’s a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids, says Jackie Newgent, R.D., author of 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes. Packed with the hunger-busting combo of 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber in just one cooked cup, it’s an ideal protein source for vegetarians and vegans.

Even better: It's a versatile ingredient. You can work it into a range of recipes so you don't feel confined to the same healthy dish week after week. Here are seven delicious ways to do it:

1

Try a Waldorf- Inspired Salad

For a filling salad that’s healthier than mayo-based sides, try this. In a bowl, mix diced apples, finely chopped celery and cooled quinoa. Make a dressing in a separate bowl using plain Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, lime juice, horseradish, salt and pepper. Whisk together. Combine all ingredients and enjoy.

2

Substitute for Rice

Brown rice? Ditch it. Replacing it with quinoa in your favorite weeknight meals gives you an extra boost of protein and brightens up a familiar recipe. Toss quinoa into a stir-fry, add it to chili, or use it to bulk up a bowl of soup.

3

Enjoy as a Hot Cereal

We're huge fans of oatmeal, but we're all for replacing your morning bowl with a hot cereal made out of quinoa instead. Add plenty of warm baking spices when cooking for plenty of low-cal flavor. You can even add unsweetened almond or coconut milk to make it creamier. Spoon into a bowl and top with fresh berries.

4

Make an Easy Dip

It's not exactly shocking that chips and dip doesn't get you that far toward your daily protein needs. Why is that a concern? Protein helps your snacks actually satisfy you so that you don't polish off the whole chip bag. The next time you’ve got the game on, try this trick: Add cooked quinoa to your favorite salsa or guacamole and stir.

5

Use in Place of Protein Powder

Don't suffer through your after-workout shake like it's a bad dose of medicine! Skip the chalky protein powder in favor of ground quinoa. You'll get a boost of all-natural, real-food protein.

6

Make Your Own Veggie Burger

Tired of patties from the freezer section? Make your own! Mash black beans in a bowl until chunky. Add cooked red quinoa, finely chopped mushrooms and onions, sundried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and Worcestershire sauce for a flavorful homemade alternative. Sprinkle the mix with salt and pepper and cook on a nonstick pan until lightly browned and heated through. You can top your finished burgers with sliced avocado or cheese and serve it on a whole-grain bun. Feeling extra healthy? Swap the bun for a big piece of lettuce or a bed of salad greens.

7

Whip Up a Simple Salad

Grilled chicken and veggies may be healthy, but it isn't a completely rounded meal. Add this on the side: Drizzle cooked quinoa with olive oil, combine with your favorite herbs and serve. Boost flavor even more by cooking quinoa in low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth.

Courtesy of Men's Fitness