Quinoa: A Good Protein Choice

QuinoaI have been feeling bored with my diet. Not that I am actually “dieting.” It is just that all of my regular meals have gotten boring. So, in my quest to add some adventure to my palate I discovered the tasty and versatile grain- quinoa (pronounced “keenwa”).

Having grown up eating a lot of rice and pasta, I was never really comfortable with trying new recipes that called for different types of grains. This is especially true because I could never find ways to incorporate the grains into my regular meals. They just seemed too exotic. Fortunately, my boredom with my typical meals motivated me to find new foods to add to my menu.

I had been hearing a lot about quinoa over the past few months. I noticed it at first in my local Costco. You know if you find something in Costco that there must be a demand for it. Costco doesn't waste its time shelving items that don't sell. After seeing it stocked on shelves over the past six months, I figured it must be pretty good to be able to maintain its presence in that big box store. Of course, it takes a little more than seeing an item on a shelf to get me to actually spend any money on it.

I committed to trying quinoa after four different people I knew raved about the different dishes they made using quinoa. Well, I would have been crazy not to give it a try after that. I glad that I did. Not only was I pleasantly surprised by how tasty quinoa is, I was extremely thrilled at how healthy this grain is.

Unlike rice and pasta, quinoa contains a large amount of protein. Better yet, quinoa is considered a complete protein. This means that it includes all nine essential amino acids. This is very beneficial for vegans who often have a challenging time acquiring all of their protein needs. Quinoa is also a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.