Quinoa is a complete protein with all amino acids, and is a wonderful way to cut back on expensive meat and get more plant protein in your diet. Did you know that the average person in the industrialized world eats more than 176 pounds of meat annually? This is not only bad for our bodies, but horrible for our environment! Geophysicists have estimated that if every American reduced meat consumption by just 20%, the greenhouse gas savings would be the same as if we all switched from a normal sedan to a hybrid Prius.
I like meat as much as the next guy, but now that I know more about the effect meat growing operations have on our environment I consider meat a treat and eat it 4-5 times per month. I keep my food simple, focusing on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as my primary food groups. Doing this has changed my life, so come along with me and I will show you the way!
Tip: Wait until you are ready to eat to add avocado and feta cheese so that it doesn't become soggy!
You can use as much or as little as you want of any of these ingredients. Play with it and find your own style!
Quinoa is most commonly considered a grain, but is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. When cooked, the seed becomes lighter and fluffier with a slight crunch and a somewhat nutty flavor.
Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Its amino acid profile is well-balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake. Quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.
In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.