Mexican Quinoa Bowls Offer Healthy Alternative to Rice

What is quinoa, you ask? It's actually a seed that’s high in protein and works well as a substitute for rice.

The first time I saw quinoa, I thought it was pronounced kee-no-a, but come to find out…it's actually KEEN-wah.
What is quinoa you ask? Well, although it's thought to be a type of grain, it's actually a seed that’s high in protein and works well as a substitute for rice. It includes all nine essential amino acids, making it a “complete protein.”

Not only is it high in protein, but is also related to leafy vegetables, such as swiss chard and spinach. I'ts unbelievably high in manganese, magnesium and rich in amino acids.

Health Benefits

Black Beans-contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vegetable protein and are high in fiber.
Quinoa -source of complete protein, high in magnesium, phosphorus, and fiber.

Research indicates that due to its high content of magnesium (which relaxes blood vessels), it can be helpful for those who suffer from migraines.

For all these reasons, you can see why I want to incorporate more of quinoa into my diet. So when I got a request for more vegetarian/vegan type recipes, I knew I had to try out something with quinoa.

Try out this simple recipe for Mexican quinoa bowls, or swap your usual rice for quinoa in one of your favorite dishes.

Mexican Quinoa Bowls

(makes 2)

1/2 cup quinoa
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp chili powder (mild)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 avocado, chopped(optional)
Shredded mexican cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

Make quinoa according to directions on package. While the quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Add in onion and let cook 2-3 minutes, until they become translucent. Add in minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Then, add black beans, corn, and 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Let simmer 10 minutes, then stir in lime juice.
When the quinoa is done, add in cilantro and additional tablespoon of lime juice. Assemble bowls by quinoa first, top with black bean mixture, then cheese, sour cream, avocado, tomatoes or any of your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

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