So I will admit that in the last couple of years I have completely jumped on the ‘superfood’ bandwagon…and I think everybody else should too! Avocados, spinach, kale, almonds, salmon…you name it. This post however, focuses on the wheat-free, holy grail substitute for starchy carbs, quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’).
So why should you be eating it? Well, it is absolutely jam-packed with protein containing all 9 ‘essential’ amino acids (I will do a post on essential aminos in the near future) and it also contains around double the amount of fibre of most other grains. This means quinoa is great for lowering cholesterol and balancing glucose levels, an ideal substitute to things like rice for those with diabetes or heart conditions.On top of this, quinoa is also rich in riboflavin (vitamin B2), iron, magnesium, manganese and lysin, which contribute to the health of your red blood cells, tissue growth and repair, healthy bones and teeth, nerve impulse reactions, energy metabolism, temperature regulation and antioxidants. So there’s not a lot missed out! This recipe takes around 40 minutes to make and one pepper is filling enough for one person…trust me!
large bell pepper
1x handful of quinoa (your preference)
1 x handful of spinach
2 x spring onions
extra virgin olive oil
(There is a picture of a white onion here…but I decided not to use it…)
1. Put the quinoa on to boil, this shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes, though you will know it is cooked as if you look closely, you will see small tail-like sprouts coming from each grain.
2. Heat the oven at around 180°C (fan-assisted oven)…No idea what this is for other ovens, sorry!
3. Prepare your vegetables, cutting finely the spinach and spring onions.
4. Cut the top from your bell pepper, almost like a ‘lid’, and keep this aside whilst you empty the insides of the pepper ready to stuff.
5. After the quinoa is boiled, drain and return to the pan.
6. Add the spinach and spring onion, and stir this around to get it evenly mixed. At this point you may wish to season with a little salt and pepper, or whatever you fancy!
7. Using a large spoon, stuff the pepper with the quinoa/spinach mix and make sure it is absolutely jam packed before popping the bell pepper ‘lid’ on top and pushing down.
8. Lightly glaze over with oil
9. Wrap up in tin foil and pop in the oven, this will take a while to cook but you can occasionally check on it by prodding with a knife. When the pepper feels soft to the touch, it is most likely ready.
10. When it is ready, take the pepper from the oven and put on the plate. NOTE: BE CAREFUL! There will be a burst of steam when you unwrap the tinfoil and you can get a nasty burn…I speak from experience!
11. Garnish as desired…and voila! 😉