As a health-supportive chef (and health-conscious Brooklynite), I’m always skeptical of the latest health trend, diet fad, or so-called “superfood” touted by the media. Although quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) — a food that I’d never even heard of as a kid — hit “superfood” status a few years ago, I’ve recently put this seed to the test by incorporating it into my regular diet. I’ve found that after eating quinoa for breakfast, I have sustained physical and mental energy throughout the day without craving snacks or caffeine. I feel healthier.
The Incan civilization began cultivating quinoa around the year 1200 because of its energizing effects, adaptability to the elements, and versatility in cooking. Although many use quinoa as a stand-in for grains, it is actually a vegetable seed belonging to the leafy green family, with substantial vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein.
The following is an easy recipe for a delicious, energizing, and super-healthy quinoa porridge. The addition of blueberries and flaxseeds boosts immunity with added fiber, calcium, potassium, zinc, and other nutrients. But I warn you—it’s addictive!
Easy Quinoa Porridge
1 c water (can be replaced with almond milk, if you prefer a creamier porridge)
½ c quinoa
1T flax seeds (optional)
½ t sea salt
1 t olive oil
½ avocado, medium dice
handful of blueberries
Rinse the quinoa in a mesh sieve until water runs clear. Combine quinoa, flax seeds (if desired), water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed (10-12 minutes). Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and serve in bowls. Top with olive oil, avocado, and blueberries. Enjoy!
If you’d prefer to go out, these Park Slope restaurants serve delicious quinoa options:
S’nice, 315 Fifth Avenue at 3rd Street
Quinoa salad with corn, black beans, tomatoes, and corn tortilla strips, served with avocado dressing ($8.75)
Miriam, 79 Fifth Avenue at Prospect Place
Quinoa salad with carrots, fennel, cauliflower, and a lemon vinaigrette ($4)
Bogota Latin Bistro, 141 Fifth Avenue at St. Johns Place
Sautéed sweet potato and black bean quinoa cakes topped with a Colombian aji sauce and served with two sides ($15)
Coco Roco, 392 Fifth Avenue between 6th & 7th Streets
Quinoa grain risotto prepared with mixed vegetables and mushrooms ($12)
V Spot, 156 Fifth Avenue between St. Johns & Lincoln Place
Organic ginger quinoa with sautéed coconut curried kale, chickpeas, carrots, and organic tofu ($13)
Leading photo via Serenae