More Protein Quinoa Ideas

by | Jan 12, 2007 | Archives

Ecuadorians are noted as the longest lived people on earth.  This in part is from Andean foods and nutritional habits that began long ago. Since ancient times Andean Yatchaks, Shamans and Curanderos have taught healthy living supported by good nutrition. They based these healthy lifestyles on three ideals; clean food; good food combinations and a correct fat, carbohydrate and protein balance. 

For this reason we have renamed our restaurant here at El Meson the Quinoa Café to celebrate the wisdom of the past combined with the unity of mankind.  Special Andean meals are rich in Quinoa.

Quinoa is often referred to as the Andean grain, a wonderful food, native to the Andes. Quinoa sustained the ancient Incas and has been grown continuously for over 5,000 years. The plant thrives in poor soil, and the high mountain terrain of South America’s Andes.

Quinoa has been described as the super grain.  Actually it is the SEED of a leafy plant that's related to spinach. What makes quinoa special is that it has a very high protein content, more than any single grain.  Plus unlike grain, Quinoa has the amino acid lysine, so the protein is complete.  The World Health Organization ranks quinoa protein equivalent to milk. Quinoa offers more iron than grains and contains magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, B vitamins: B6, niacin, magnesium, zinc, copper. It is also a good source of folate (folic acid).

Quinoa is delicious and can be substituted for almost any other grain.

The Quinoa Cafe offers delicious meals, each naturally filled with protein, vitamins and high energy from the Andes but each inspired by different flavors of the world.

El Meson’s kitchen already has some fame as legend suggests that “Carnes Colorados,” a local specialty of the area that Ecuadorians travel from around the country to enjoy, was invented by a former chef here.

However this new focus has made our chef, Santiago, even more famous and he has already been featured twice on national TV with quinoa recipes. Tomorrow we have a group of 80 dining here and Sunday a group of 33.

Chef SantiagoHere is a picture of Chef Santiago

He serves quinoa cakes, quinoa cookies, quinoa tamales, quinoa meatloaf, quinoa soup, pasta and more.  For this reason many of our delegates report eating more yet losing weight while they stay!

Here is a recipe for quinoa soup.

1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
1 tbsp ground cumin
½ tsp organic turmeric
3 cups cooked and blended turnips
1 cup chopped sweet potatoes
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2-1/2 cups coarsely chopped celery
8 cups water
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the cumin, turmeric, celery and saute, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until the celery begins to soften and the ingredients are fragrant.

Add the quinoa, sweet potatoes, turnips, water and salt. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer covered for 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and the sweet potatoes are soft. Stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasonings, if desired.  Enjoy this protein rich treat!

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P.S. Join us in the Ecuador sun this winter. Here is a schedule of the courses Merri and I will sponsor and or conduct.

Jan. 22 – 26, Mon.- Fri. Self-Fulfilled: How to Be a Writer & Publisher.

Feb. 20 – 25, Tues.-Sun. Import-Export Course.

Mar. 9 – 15, Fri.-Thurs. Expanded Super Thinking + Spanish.

Mar. 16 -18, Fri.-Sun. International Business and Investing Made EZ.

Mar. 19 – 21, Mon.-Wed. Andes Extension & Real Estate Tour.