A Super Delicious Super Food: Quinoa

For my health advice column in the newspaper this week, the question was referring to Quinoa as a gluten free food. Along with the request from a friend for my quinoa recipe, I thought I’d put up the recipe (I know I put this before but I altered it a bit, and added the advice). So I’ll share the advice response here too, followed by the recipe, which is dedicated to a special friend.  😉 

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free (don’t top with Organic Greek Yogurt/ Organic sour cream), and vegetarian, yet high in protein.

I have to say, although this is yummy, this is not my favorite recipe for quinoa. My favorite is cooked without tomato paste or corn, and topped with a bunch of avocados.  I’ll have that step by step recipe soon .:)

My response to the question in my weekly health advice column:

Today almost everyone is struggling with a food allergy or intolerance. While one person is lactose intolerant, another is allergic to nuts, and a third is struggling with celiac disease. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid could really help one cure their body.

Quinoa is growing in popularity, and when you take a deep look at its health benefits you’ll know exactly why. For those unfamiliar with this seed, quinoa is a grain like crop. Quinoa sure is gluten free, so those with celiac disease or wheat intolerance should feel comfortable enjoying this grain.

Quinoa contains many essential protein amino acids, and is high in many essential vitamins and minerals including manganese, iron, and calcium. For those with arthritis, do add quinoa in your diet for it helps lower inflammation in the body. Plus, while quinoa is high in protein and fiber, it’s very low in fat and is quite filling. So what’s not to like about this super-seed?

Quinoa is prepared very similar to rice. Usually one cup of the grain takes two cups of water for it to be tender.

I love using quinoa in desserts as well as main dishes. I even occasionally replace burghul (cracked wheat) in my homemade taboulli salad with quinoa. You can replace your usual bowl of oatmeal with cooked quinoa topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, raw walnuts, raisins, and Organic Raw honey.

As a main dish I cook Quinoa and allow it to cool. I add a variety of vegetables, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Flaxseed Oil, and of course top it with lots of fresh ripe avocadoes. Or as a variation I do a “Mexican quinoa” salad with black beans, tomato paste, and delicious spices. It’s easy to play around with this seed, and I assure you once you add it to your diet you wouldn’t be able to go on without it. 

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

Quinoa on the left. Barley spinach (recipe to come later) on the right.

 

Noory’s Gone Mexican Quinoa

Ingredients:

1 cup Organic Quinoa rinsed

2 cans black beans, rinsed and soaked

1 bag frozen Organic, non-GMO corn

1 bag Organic Chopped Spinach

1 can Organic tomato paste

1 can Organic diced tomatoes (spicy if desired!)

Himalayan Pink Salt or Real Salt, mustard, black pepper, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and cajun

Water for cooking (approximately 4-5 cups)

Organic Sour Cream or Organic Grass-Fed Greek Yogurt (optional)

Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

 

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet (with lid) place corn, spinach, and washed black beans with 2 cups water. Simmer on medium heat.
  2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, spices as desired, and rinsed Quinoa. Mix well. Add enough water (2 inches above) Cover and allow to cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally if necessary. Once Quinoa is tenderly cooked it will be transparent in color.
  3. Fluff with a fork and serve warm. My suggested serving, a dollop of certified Organic sour cream/Greek Yogurt and the fresh chopped cilantro!
  4. Enjoy!

P.S: This tastes delicious alone or as a dip with clean ingredient tortilla chips! (Pick Organic when possible ;))

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Secrets Behind Noor’s 1-2-3 Black Bean Brownies

Zoom in on the good stuff. No bean in sight.

Zoom in on the good stuff. No bean in sight. 😛 Dairy, gluten, soy, refined sugar, and preservative junk free. 

Noor's famous sunnah-full black bean brownies.

Noor’s famous sunnah-full black bean brownies. Topped with raw almond butter swirl.

Okay putting up a picture of delicious looking brownies does not justify the cravings. “How can these be guilt free?” one asks. Forget gluten free, these are JUNK free. 

My recipe answers the question. Forget the hydrogenated oils, bleached flour, and worst of all, pounds of refined sugar found in usual brownies. Forget the list of unpronounceable ingredients in boxed brownies. Throw in black beans for a hidden kick of protein, fiber, and a fudgy texture. Your kids will never know, and neither will your husband. 😉

Personally my favorite part about these brownies is this: all you do is toss the ingredients in your food processor all at once, and pulse away! No messy bowls, no sticky whisks, no hand blender, none of that!

I secretly add in whole black seeds and cold-pressed black seed oil. Black seed has been mentioned in the sunnah of the prophet (pbuh) and is suddenly showing up in research now. The benefits of black seed for many health conditions and diseases is breathtaking. Shhh don’t tell the kids.

Now, I don’t want to keep you holding any longer, let’s get to the bottom of these.

Black Bean Brownie Ingredients:

 

Nutty Swirl Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp Organic Almond Butter (you can use any nut butter or nut butter powder)
  • 1 Tbsp Organic Raw Honey or Organic Coconut Palm Sugar (sugar replacement)
  • Pinch of Celtic Sea Salt/Himalayan Pink Salt
  • Dash of Vanilla Extract (make sure it’s pure and alcohol free)

STEP 1:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ALL “Black Bean Brownie Ingredients” in your food processor. Pulse well. Pour into desired pan (13 by 9 works perfectly well for me. The thicker you want your brownies, the smaller the pan)

STEP 2:

In a small bowl place the “ Nut Butter Swirl Ingredients” and mix well. Spoon on top of brownie batter and create a swirl with a knife. I personally prefer walnut or pecan butter.

STEP 3:

Place in oven for approximately 25-30 minutes. The deeper the pan the more time they’ll need.

Okay here you have it, my secret way of indulgence without sabotaging my health. Enjoy now, you have some baking to do.

Noor's Black Bean Brownies :)

Noor’s Black Bean Brownies dark raw cocoa version w/ cashew butter swirl 🙂

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©2014 Noor Salem- All rights reserved. This information on this blog, blackbeanbrownies.wordpress.com is provided for educational and informational purposes only, and not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, or any other physical or mental ailment of the human body. ALWAYS seek consultation from your physician or health care provider for any medical related questions, or before initiating any diet or health program, trying a new food product, dietary change, supplement, or exercise. All content and images on blackbeanbrownies.wordpress.com may not be reproduced or distributed unless permitted in writing. Noor Salem and blackbeanbrownies.wordpress.com disclaim liability for any misinterpretation or misuse of any information provided here or from any injury, sickness, or damage from the use of any recommended products. This information is not provided to replace seeking a licensed physician or health care provider.