By: Leanne Ely

 

It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a trick, a tip and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?

Today’s focus is on: QUINOA

Quinoa is a seed that’s been around forever, though with the popularity it’s gained in recent years, you’d think it was a new invention. Quinoa has an amazing nutritional profile. This seed is gluten free, high in protein and rich in health-supportive fats.

Quinoa is full of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. It can lower your cholesterol, and it’s easy to digest.

Easy to eat, easy to cook and easy to digest, there’s much to love about quinoa.

There is a debate in the nutrition world about whether quinoa is Paleo, and I say that if it doesn’t cause you any discomfort, you go ahead and eat it. Do keep in mind, though, that though quinoa is a more nutritious option than a lot of foods, it is carb heavy, so practice good portion control.

Shop for organic, fair-trade quinoa so you know that farmers in South America are getting a fair price for their crop.

Quinoa-

Now, it’s time for your Trick:

You can find quinoa in beige, orange, purple, green and almost every color in between. Beige is the tastiest; red is the healthiest!

Your Tip:

Always rinse your quinoa before cooking it. Quinoa has a bitter coating that must be rinsed off before you prepare it. Otherwise, it won’t taste very good. (You should also remember to drain your quinoa after cooking and let it rest for a few minutes.)

And your Recipe:

Oven Chicken Meatballs
Serves 4

1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 medium egg, beaten
2 cups tomato sauce
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the first 11 ingredients (ground chicken through the egg). With a small scoop, scoop out the mixture onto a parchment lined sheet pan.

Bake the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes. Then pour over the tomato sauce and sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese. Return the meatballs to the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes more, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is bubbling.

Remove from the oven and let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

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