So you’ve just finished your hard workout and you’re trying to figure out what to consume to bring those muscles back from the dead. You know that protein is the key essential nutrient that your body needs for muscle repair. But before you pick up that powder mix that you normally swig down with your shake, try this alternative that packs more punch and comes from a natural source.
Quinoa (KEEN-WAH) has been around for over 5,000 of years. Native to the Andes Mountains, this grain-like seed is known to be a complete protein. Complete proteins contain all 8 essential amino acids that your body does not produce by itself. All proteins that are found in meats and fish are not complete. The only additional way to get all 8 amnio acids would be to buy protein supplements that contain all amino acids. But why put a processed substance into your body when you can get the same benefits from this power food? Prepare this recipe the next time your muscles are starving to repair themselves.
Peppers Stuffed With Quinoa and Spinach (From Better Homes and Gardens New CookBook 15th ed.)
Serving size: 4
Prep time: 25 min
Cooking time: 63 mins
- 1 – 14oz can vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup quick-cooking barley
- 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 med)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
- 1 – 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 of a 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
- 1.5 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (6oz)
- 4 large red sweet peppers
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium saucepan bring broth to boiling. Add barley and quinoa. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, covered, about 12 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving cooking liquid; set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. add onion and garlic. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Add mushrooms. Cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes more or until mushrooms and onion are tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, undrained tomatoes, and spinach. Stir in quinoa mixture and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Remove from heat.
3. Cut peppers in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds and membranes from the peppers. Sprinkle insides of peppers lightly with additional salt and pepper. Fill pepper halves with quinoa mixture. Place peppers, filled sides up, in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Pour reserved cooking liquid into dish around peppers.
4. Bake, covered 35 minutes. Uncover; top each with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered, about 10 more minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender and cheese is brown.
415 calories, 22g total fat (10g sat. fat, 0g trans fat), 45mg cholesterol, 1,206mg sodium, 39g carbohydrates, 9g fiber, 19g protein
E.A. Oelke, D.H. Putnam, T.M. Teynor, and E.S. Oplinger. (2012) from http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/quinoa.html