2013-04-10 19.37.03

Peru – home of the Quinoa. And how I’ve missed thee.

After spending months in Spain, Argentina and Chile, where quinoa is non-existent, I was quite ecstatic to stumble upon its abundance in the local market of Arequipa (our first stop). It’s so cheap here too! For less than a dollar I was able to get about a half pound of quinoa; equivalent to about 3 meals for 2 people.
Also in abundance at these markets are locally grown produce and…olives. I’m not sure if the olives are locally grown, but there are several different varieties sitting in brine solution waiting to be eaten. And they are all delicious. I had so many I decided to throw them into quinoa.
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Olive & Pepper Quinoa

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1/4 cup olives, chopped, pits removed (any type you like; these were similar to Kalamata)

1/2 cup red pepper, chopped

1/2 TBS chili pepper, minced (more or less, depending on your spice preference)

1 small red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 TBS olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup basil, chopped

 -Heat oil over medium heat in large saucepan and add onion and pepper. Lightly salt and pepper, sautéing until soft and aromatic, about 7-10 minutes.

-With 1-2 minutes remaining, add the garlic and stir constantly to prevent garlic from burning.

-Remove from heat and add to quinoa, along with the olives and basil. Stir to combine.

Per 1/2 cup serving: Calories: 231 Protein: 6g Carbohydrate: 30g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 1g Fiber: 5g Sodium: 230mg
Per 1 cup serving: Just double the numbers!

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Pair 1/2 – 1 cup of quinoa with a salad or cooked vegetables for a balanced meal. Quinoa is a complete source of protein, making it a great substitute for meats several nights of the week. Unlike meat, it contains unsaturated fats and fiber, contributing to much healthier cardiovascular system.
Want to try quinoa in a different way? Try this Breakfast Quinoa recipe with loads of fruit and nuts. It’s a great protein and fiber packed meal that will jumpstart your metabolism and help maintain a healthy weight by controlling cravings throughout your day.
Eat your Quinoa!
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