Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chicken Quinoa Tabouli

I have been using Quinoa (keen-wah) now for sometime in place of grains. Although, it is not a grain as most of us thought at one time, and actually says "grain" on many packages you buy. It is a seed closely related to the beet and spinach family. Quinoa substitutes nicely for many diverse recipes that call for grain.
   Quinoa-the Gold of the Inca's          Quinoa is 100% gluten-free. If you are allergic to wheat or if you’ve been diagnosed gluten-intolerant, then quinoa is an ideal substitute.
For those of us keeping tight control on our blood sugar, even though quinoa is not low in carbohydrates it is low on the glycemic index because it will not spike most Type 2 diabetics blood sugar. It assimilates at such a slower rate than grains that it causes sugar to be released at a lower rate into the blood thus keeping it level. Of course it is always prudent to test after eating it with your meter to see it's effect on you personally.

I have found that I can eat 1/2 cup as a hot breakfast cereal and not have any spikes.
There are so many reasons to incorporate quinoa into your diet. In ancient times it was referred to as "the gold of the Incas," Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. It is a true Superfood. More on Quinoa here.

Leave chicken out for a side salad
2 cps cooked & chilled Quinoa
2 cps Chicken Breast-shredded*
1 cp Parsley-chopped
1/2 cup Leeks (or scallions)
2 TBS fresh Mint-chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 Garlic Clove, minced or pressed
1 TBS fresh Basil-minced  (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/2 cp fresh Lemon Juice
1/4  cp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I love to use Basil Olive Oil)
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/2 cp slivered toasted Almonds
Toss all ingredients except almonds together. Chill for 1 hour. Toss in almonds when ready to serve.
Serves 6.
Adapted from: Bob's Red Mill Recipes
*Leave out Chicken for a fresh, lighter side salad.

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