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Katie Couric dishes up bountiful benefits of gluten-free quinoa and recipes

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Heard about quinoa? It's become increasingly popular as more health experts are discovering the benefits of this highly nutritious food. On her Dec. 11 talk show, Katie Couric explored some of the reasons why she's crazy about quinoa.

Here are some tasty facts about quinoa:

  • It's not a grain: It's a seed, so it's a great choice for those on wheat-free and gluten-free diets.
  • It's high in fiber, helping to keep you regular.
  • It's high in protein, so it keeps you full and boosts your weight loss.
  • It contains prebiotics to benefit your digestive system.

How to use: Try quinoa as a morning cereal. Add cooked quinoa to casseroles or substitute for rice at dinner. Try the recipes below for more variety.

Diane Henderiks’ Black Bean & Quinoa Pilaf

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn kernels, cooked
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 3 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook until tender (5 minutes).
Add quinoa, chili powder, cumin and dry mustard. Cook and stir until quinoa begins to brown lightly.
Add broth and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Combine next 7 ingredients (diced tomatoes through lime juice) in medium bowl. Add tomato mixture to quinoa mixture and gently combine.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

Clean Energy Breakfast: Quick and Comforting, Quinoa Swirled with Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup prepared quinoa (according to package directions)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or other milk if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup fresh berries and sliced mango
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg
  • (optional) Drizzle of 1/2 tsp honey or maple syrup

Directions

Place quinoa in a small bowl. You can heat up the quinoa and almond milk first to enjoy it warm, or keep at room temperature.
Top with fresh fruit. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg. Drizzle honey or maple syrup on top.

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