Keen on Quinoa!

simply well with Holly Niles


simply well with Holly Niles


This week we are looking at a grain called quinoa (keen-wah).  Some of you may have had some experience eating quinoa but I have learned that many are intimidated to cook it. Quinoa is part of the amaranth family and comes from South America, mainly Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. This small, ivory-colored seed is naturally gluten-free and contains many vitamins and minerals including iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and fiber. The protein content for ½ cup of cooked quinoa is about the same as 1 egg.  It is one of only a few plant foods that are considered a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids.  It’s a delicious easy addition to your whole food tool kit.  If you haven’t tried it, the good news is that it works as a savory side dish, salad or even breakfast porridge.

Simply Easy Tip:

Cook up a pot to have on hand.  It cooks very quickly with the ratio of 1 cup of uncooked quinoa to 2 cups of liquid. Bring quinoa and liquid to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Simply Supportive: PurePea Protein Powder

Plant proteins are great to balance our daily protein.  Consider a protein shake for breakfast using our delicious PURE PEA protein. Organic PurePea™, an organic, natural pea protein isolate, offers a high level of functionality and nutritional benefits. Organic PurePea™ is a true vegan protein which has high bioavailability and excellent digestibility.* The raw materials, certified organic North American grown yellow peas, are not genetically modified (non-GMO) and are produced with a natural fermentation process which uses no chemical solvents.

Simply Delicious: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


1½ cup dry quinoa

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, pressed

½ teaspoon dry basil, minced

½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed between your fingers

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cups arugula

1- 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained

⅓ cup roasted red bell pepper, drained and chopped

⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced

¼ cup basil, thinly slivered


Cook quinoa according to package directions with ½ teaspoon salt added to water. Cool completely.

Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pressed garlic, basil and thyme. Whisk until well combined. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.

To a large serving bowl, add quinoa, arugula, garbanzo beans, red bell pepper, and Kalamata olives.

Drizzle with dressing and garnish with basil. Season to taste. Serve at room temperature.


 Adapted from:


Simply Well Newsletter #46: Keen on Quinoa!