Cutting out the majority of meat can be a challenge for many. Lean meats are full of protein, good fats, and they keep us feeling fuller for longer. I feel this is why the paleo diet has caught on so quickly for those with active life styles. Quinoa has gained popularity in vegan and vegetarian-based recipes as a total meat-replacement. This, however, is not always the best option for all. Quinoa DOES contain protein but not nearly as much as lean, fat-trimmed meats. Read up on the benefits of quinoa here, and maybe start choosing quinoa as a GRAIN replacement instead of a MEAT replacement.
Regardless of how you would prefer to use quinoa or what you’re replacing with it, quinoa has a lot of benefits for you and can help create a little more diversity in texture to some of your favorite “staple” meals.
Why You Should Own This Shtuff:
1.) Quinoa is a complete protein and contains fiber (just don’t depend on quinoa solely to get your protein fix):
“Quinoa is high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which make it potentially beneficial for human health in the prevention and treatment of disease. Quinoa contains small amounts of the heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and, in comparison to common cereal grasses has a higher content of monounsaturated fat.
As a complete protein, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids – including the elusive lysine and isoleucine acids, which most other grains lack. Naturally high in dietary fibre, quinoa is a slowly digested carbohydrate, making it a good low-GI option.”
Read more here!
2.) Quinoa has a slight nutty flavor and is a good addition to “comfort food” favorites. Try adding quinoa instead of rice to your next batch of stuffed peppers. Quinoa cooks up light and fluffy but still contains a slight crunch. It takes on pretty much any flavoring you would like, so it is an easy substitute for meals that contain rice and other grains. Plus, it’s gluten-free if you go that route. Try cooking quinoa in a pan with a cup of coconut milk for a lightly-flavored side of quinoa (or use it as a base!).
I purchase mine in the bulk section to avoid over-priced packaging fees.
Going “less meat” not “meat less” can be a hard decision to make, and you may feel you have nothing to make anymore. Try using quinoa to as a substitute to get some protein for the day and fiber to help keep your digestive system strong. Other “meat substitutes” can be found here.
I keep a container of quinoa around at all times, and it has come in handy when we’re running low on food for the week. Check back later this week for a yummy recipe for Quinoa Chili! Happy Cooking!